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Hardstem Bullrush

Schoenoplectus acutus

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Hardstem Bullrush (Schoenoplectus acutus) at Roger's Gardens

Hardstem Bullrush flowers

Hardstem Bullrush flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Hardstem Bullrush (Schoenoplectus acutus) at Roger's Gardens

Hardstem Bullrush in bloom

Hardstem Bullrush in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Tule, Hard Stem Bullrush, syn. Scirpus acutus


A perennial, heavily rhizomatous wetland plant found in ponds and marshes, usually in standing water no deeper than six feet; an excellent water feature accent

Ornamental Features

Hardstem Bullrush has masses of beautiful clusters of tan flowers at the ends of the stems in late spring, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its grassy leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The green stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Hardstem Bullrush is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Hardstem Bullrush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Water Gardens
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Hardstem Bullrush will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Naturalizing  Bog  Water 
Flowers  Bark 
Ornamental Features