Woolgrass

Woolgrass_jpgThe rush family, Cyperaceae, includes eight genera and approximately three hundred species of grass-like plants.  In ancient times rushes were used to make roofs, writing instruments, bedding, caulking for ships and some were used to make arrows.  A more poetic use was for musical pipes. In the Middle Ages rushes were used to cover cold stone floors and were swept away when dirty. The genusScirpus is the Latin name of bulrush and the species cyperinus means “like Cyprus”. The presence of rushes indicates damp soil or low meadows. The following rhythm may help distinguish rushes from the similar appearing sedges and grasses: Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints from the tips to the ground. The stems of rushes are round, like a knitting needle.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Scirpus cyperinus

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

to 4 feet

FruitingTime:

June to September

Distribution:

Nova Scotia to Maryland and west to Iowa ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

June to September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Grasslike plant growing in clumps ~ Stems slightly triangular almost round, weaker at base ~ Leaves rough margin, linear ~ Spikelets ¼ inch long on second branches, oblong, mostly in threes or fives, very wooly