Water Bulrush - Schoenoplectus subterminalis
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Over a dozen known occurrences in western Montana, most of which are moderate to large-sized populations primarily on National Forest lands. Populations are potentially vulnerable to changes in water levels or increases in nutrient and sediment loads associated with development, agriculture or adjacent timber harvesting.
Aquatic. Stems terete, 20–80 cm, submergent or floating, not emergent. Leaf blades folded, 1 mm or less wide. Inflorescence a solitary spikelet. Spikelet 7–12 mm long. Scales 4–6 mm long, glabrous, membranous, light brown; the tip not notched or awned. Flowers: bristles 6, ca. as long as achene; stigmas 3. Achene brown, 3-sided, 2–4 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
Flowering in late June-July, fruiting in August.
The flaccid stems and aquatic habit distinguish this species from all members of Schoenoplectus and Scirpus in our area.
AK to NL south to OR, ID and MT (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Open water and boggy margins of ponds, lakes, and sloughs at 0.1-3 m depth in the valley, foothill, and montane zones.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- 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.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Bursik, R. J., and R. K. Moseley. 1992. Forty-year changes in Hager Lake Fen, Bonner County, Idaho. Cooperative Challenge Cost-share Project, Idaho Panhandle National Forests and Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. 31 pp.
- Bursik, R. J., and R. K. Moseley. 1992. Vegetation and water chemistry monitoring and twenty-year floristic changes at Huff Lake Fen, Kaniksu National Forest. Cooperative Challenge Cost-share Project, Idaho Panhandle National Forests and Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 27 pp.
- Hoitsma, T. 1992. Sensitive Plant Survey, Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. [Unpublished Report] 65 pp. plus appendices.
- 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.
- Maguire, B. 1939. Distrubution notes concerning plants of Glacier National Park, Montana-II. Rhodora 41:504-508.
- Moseley, R. K., R. J. Bursik, and M. Manusco. 1991. Floristic inventory of wetlands in Fremont and Teton counties, Idaho. Unpublished report on file IDCDC Department of Fish & Game, Boise, ID. 60 pp.
- Rumely, J. H. 1956. Plant ecology of a bog in northern Idaho. Unpublished dissertation, Washington State University, Pullman. 85 pp.
- Schuyler, A. E. 1983. Distributional notes on northwestern Montana aquatic vascular plants - 1982. Bartonia. 43:52-54.