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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Saltmarsh Bulrush - Bolboschoenus maritimus
Other Names:  Scirpus maritimus, Schoenoplectus maritimus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Perennials to 150 cm tall from robust rhizomes, these commony bearing tubers. Culms sharply triangular, often with concave sides, 3-13 mm thick towards the base. Leaves commonly 4-8, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem; blades mostly 10-40 cm longer to 1 cm wide, the lower 1 or 2 sometimes reduced to bladeless sheaths. Leaflike involucral bracts usually 2 or 3, the longest one usually much exceeding the others and up to 34 cm long. Scalelike involucral bracts few to several, the larger ones with the green midrib exserted as a caudate awn. Spikelets 3-25 (rarely more), 10-35 mm long, 5-10 mm thick, all sessile in a compact cluster or with 1-4 additional clusters borne on peduncles to 6 cm long; scales tan or light brown, rarely dark brown, scarious, minutely hirtellous on the back, the firm midrib exserted as a mucronate awn, this commonly 1-3 times longer than the apical notch of the scale; perianth bristles few, minutely retrorse-barbellate, ca. 1/4-1/2(-3/4) as long as the achenes; styles 2-branched for ca. 1/3 the length. Achenes 2.5-4 mm long, lenticular, minutely cellular-reticulate (adapted from: Welsh et al., 1993, A Utah Flora, 2nd ed.).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Across much of North America but only infrequently east of the Great Plains (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 93

(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)

Wet areas.

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Anderson, N.L. 1951. Field studies on the biology of range grasshoppers of southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 96 p.
    • Craig, V.E. 1952. A story of fish production as it applies to Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 92 p.
    • Eggers, M.J.S. 2005. Riparian vegetation of the Montana Yellowstone and cattle grazing impacts thereon. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 125 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Rothweiler, R.A. 1960. Food habits, movements and nesting of gulls on a waterfowl area, Freezeout Lake, Teton County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 29 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Saltmarsh Bulrush"
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Citation for data on this website:
Saltmarsh Bulrush — Bolboschoenus maritimus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from