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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Hardstem Bulrush - Schoenoplectus acutus
Other Names:  Scirpus acutus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links

General Description
Stems terete, 50–200 cm, filled with spongy air cavities. Leaf blades reduced to scales. Inflorescence open or congested with small clusters of spikelets on tips of spreading to erect peduncles. Spikelets 5–10 mm long. Scales 3–4.5 mm long, ciliate, sparsely puberulent, gray to tan-hyaline with short, dark red, parallel lines; awn twisted 1–2 mm long. Flowers: bristles ca. 6, ca. as long as achene; stigmas 2 or 3. Achene usually 2-sided, gray to nearly black, 2–3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout temperate North America (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 175

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Fresh or saline marshes around ponds, lakes, sloughs; plains, valleys, montane, rarely higher (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Cutting, K.A. 2010. Nutrient allocation to egg formation of Lesser Scaup. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 74 p.
    • Deane, C.E. 2017. Harvest, nasal-markers, and Lesser Scaup vital rates. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 102 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Hardstem Bulrush — Schoenoplectus acutus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from