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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Pendulous Bulrush - Scirpus pendulus

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
One collection from Ravalli County where there are a few patches in an area heavily used by waterfowl. Possibly accidental. Not listed for Montana in FNA vol. 23. More information is needed to determine the status of the species in the state.
General Description
Stems 30–80 cm, clustered on short rhizomes. Leaves: blades 2–6 mm wide; basal sheaths whitish. Inflorescence open, cymose; spikelets on individual short peduncles. Spikelets 3–8 mm long. Scales 1.5–2 mm long, brown with prominent green midribs; tip apiculate. Flowers: bristles 6, strongly contorted, smooth, brown, longer than the achene; stigmas 3. Achene 3-sided, gray-brown, ca. 1 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The combination of scales with a green midrib and bristles ca. twice as long as the achene separate this species from the similar S. cyperinus, S. microcarpus, and S. pallidus. A hand lens will be necessary for positive identification.

Range Comments
OR to QC south to CA, AZ, NM, TX, AL and FL. Known from Missoula County (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Marshes and pond margins on the plains.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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:
Pendulous Bulrush — Scirpus pendulus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from