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Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (C.C. Gmelin) Palla. Softstem Bulrush, Great Bulrush, Cattail-flag. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Tidal marshes, freshwater marshes, sedge meadows, streambeds, riverbeds, floodplain pools, calcareous fens. Dist: NL (Newfoundland) west to AK, south to South America; also in Europe.

ID notes: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani is robust, up to 9 feet tall, the round stems arising from thick horizontal rhizomes. Near the top of the stem is an inflorescence with arching branches tipped with chestnut or rusty brown, ovoid spikelets. From the base of the inflorescence grows a bract which appears as if it is a continuation of the stem. The species is very similar to S. acutus, but the female scale awns are shorter (0.2-0.8 mm long vs. 0.5-2 mm long in that species) and usually straight (vs. usually bent in S. acutus). The two species are known to hybridize and so some specimens may not key cleanly. Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani normally can be separated from S. acutus by the culms (stems) that are soft and easily compressed; the other species has firm to hard stems that are difficult to compress.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Synonymy: = Ar, FNA23, Il, K1, K3, K4, Mex, Mi, Mo1, NcTx, NE, NY, Pa, Tn, Va, WH3, Smith (1995); = Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla ssp. validus (Vahl) T.Koyama var. validus; = Schoenoplectus validus (Vahl) Á.Löve & D.Löve – Strong (1994); = Scirpus lacustris L. – S13, misapplied; = Scirpus lacustris L. var. tabernaemontani (C.C.Gmel.) Döll; = Scirpus tabernaemontani C.C.Gmel. – W; = Scirpus validus Vahl – Bah, C, G, GrPl, GW1, RAB, S, Tx; > Scirpus validus Vahl var. creber Fernald – F, Tat, WV; > Scirpus validus Vahl var. validus – F

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: OBL
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: OBL
  • Great Plains: OBL
  • Midwest: OBL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: OBL

Heliophily ?: 9

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Melanie Flood | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷

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