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Variegated Pond Rush

Schoenoplectus lacustris 'Albescens'

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Variegated Pond Rush (Schoenoplectus lacustris 'Albescens') at Roger's Gardens

Variegated Pond Rush foliage

Variegated Pond Rush foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Variegated Bullrush, syn. Scirpus lacustris


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; evergreen in warmer climates

Ornamental Features

Variegated Pond Rush 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 with prominent creamy white stripes and tinges of tan throughout the year. The green stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Pond Rush is an herbaceous evergreen 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

Variegated Pond Rush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Water Gardens
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Variegated Pond Rush will grow to be about 4 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 evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

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 is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Variegated Pond Rush is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

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