Flowering Rush

Flowering Rush

Flowering Rush - Butomus umbellatus

A beautiful perennial plant with creeping, underground rhizomes and erect, smooth, cylindrical stem, up to 150 cm tall.

The basal, three-cornered leaves have sword-shaped, spongy blades reaching a metre in length.

The large umbel inflorescences are sheathed at the base by conspicuous bracts and consist of numerous flowers up to 3 cm large, with three sepals and three petals ranging from white to bright pink in colour, held on up to 10 cm long stalks.

In spite of its name, the Flowering Rush does not belong to the same genus as the true rushes; but it does resemble a rush and shares with them the same habitat.

Like rushes, it grows in ditches and along the edges of pools in shallow water rich in nutrients. It occurs at the Fucecchio Marshes, Lake Sibolla and the Lame of San Rossore.

It flowers from June to August. In Italy, the distribution of the Flowering Rush is limited to the wetlands of the Po Valley and the Tyrrhenian side of the peninsular as far as Campania and so it must be considered a rarity.