Common club-rush

Schoenoplectus lacustris

Brian Eversham

Common club-rush

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Scientific name: Schoenoplectus lacustris
The dark green, straight and spiky stems of common club-rush or 'bulrush' are a familiar wetland sight. They are ideal for weaving and were traditionally used to make baskets, seats and mats.

Top facts


Height: up to 3m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The stout and tall common club-rush is an abundant plant of shallow water, including the margins of lakes, ponds, canals, slow-moving rivers and ditches. It flowers from June to August and spreads using rhizomes (underground stems). Its straight, rounded stems are ideal for weaving and it was regularly used to make baskets, seats and mats. Mixed with scented herbs, it was also used to line the cold stone floors of churches and halls before carpets and floorboards became common.

What to look for

Common club-rush has dark green, spiky stems that are rounded in cross-section. The stems bear loose flower heads with brown, egg-shaped spikelets (containing the flowers).

Where to find


Did you know?

In common with great reedmace, common club-rush is also sometimes known as 'bulrush'.