Bulrush (Scirpus lacustris)

Perennial
Schoenoplectus lacustris. (L.)Pallas.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bulrush
Scirpus lacustris
Cyperaceae

The stems are frequently used for making matting, chair bottoms etc and thatching[1, 4, 23, 85, 100, 115]. They were at one time imported in large quantities for this purpose[4].

The pith of the stems is used in paper making[100].

  • Medicinal Use

    The roots are astringent and diuretic[240]. They were formerly employed medicinally but have fallen into disuse[4].

    This plant is a traditional medicine for cancer[218].

  • Edible Use

    Root – raw or cooked[2, 85, 95, 183]. Rich in starch, it can be dried and ground into a powder or made into a syrup[13, 85, 95, 183]. The buds at the end of the rhizomes are crisp and sweet, making excellent eating raw[183].

    Young shoots – raw or cooked[85, 183]. Used in spring.

    Seed – ground up into a powder and mixed with flour for use in making cakes etc[85, 183]. The seed is small and rather fiddly to harvest and utilize.

    Base of mature stems – raw or cooked. Somewhat tough[85].

    Pollen – raw or cooked. Rich in pollen, it is mixed with flour and used in making cakes etc[85, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in 3cm of water. Only just cover the seed with soil[200]. The seed usually germinates fairly quickly. Prick out the plants when large enough to handle and plant out in their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Succeeds in any wet to moisture retentive soil, pond margins and shallow water in full sun or shade[1, 200]. Plants can succeed in fairly deep water. Hardy to about -25¡c[187]. Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[187].
Europe, incl Britain, south and east from Lapland to Africa and Asia. N. and C. America, Polynesia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.