Common Club-rush

Common Club-rush

Common Club-rush (sometimes called Bulrush) - Schoenoplectus lacustris (= Scirpus lacustris)

This is the largest European rush and in favourable conditions grows over three metres in height.

It typically has a large perennial creeping rhizome, which as it sinks into the mud holds the soil together contributing to the filling-in of the pond.

The stems are erect, cylindrical and dark green, with a spongy pith. The leaves are short and linear, or reduced to sheaths at the base of the stem.

The inflorescence in the form of flower-heads is at the top of the stem, which is sheathed by a bract at the base, and consists of small red-brown spikes.

Schoenoplectus lacustris is common and widespread all over Italy, on the banks of lakes and ponds, in marshes, along rivers, canals and ditches.

It lives at the edges of pools, more towards the centre than the cane-bed belt and so can tolerate deeper water, and along cross ditches on soils generally water-logged all year through.

This marshland plant was also much employed in poorer local crafts to make ropes and cords (this is the meaning of the greek word schoenus), mats and rudimentary silhouettes to attract wild ducks.