Bolboschoenus maritimus ssp. paludosus David Werier

Bolboschoenus maritimus ssp. paludosus
David Werier

Monocotyledoneae (Monocots)
Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)
State Protection
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Global Conservation Status Rank


Did you know?

The genus name is derived from the Greek "bolbo", a bulb, and "schoenus", a rush. It refers to the presence of corms in this genus. The Flora of North America treatment of the species states that it is likely that some populations of both subspecies are introduced from Europe (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002).

State Ranking Justification

There are 10 existing populations but half of them are small and threatened by Phragmites. There are 11 additional populations from the early 1900s that have not been resurveyed.

Short-term Trends

At least 3 populations have been reduced by the invasion of Phragmites and more are likely to be threatened.

Long-term Trends

This plan has always been rare in New York but populations were probably much larger in the past before the drainage and manipulation of wetlands and the introduction of Phragmites. Long-term future trends will be downward unless Phragmites can be controlled.

Conservation and Management


Many populations are threatened by the invasion of non-native Phragmites. Drainage and manipulation of coastal wetlands has reduced population numbers.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

Control Phragmites invasions in the salt marshes where it exists and prevent new incursions. Natural buffers should be established around the salt marshes to decrease pollution runoff and other direct human disturbances.

Research Needs

Besides Phragmites what may limit the expansion of populations in Long Island marshes.



In New York Seaside Bulrush has been found in a variety of open, saltwater or brackish wetlands, including disturbed sites such as roadsides and ditches (New York Natural Heritage Program 2010). Brackish to saline coastal and inland shores, marshes (FNA 2002).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Artificial pool
  • Brackish interdunal swales (guide)
  • Brackish intertidal mudflats (guide)
  • Brackish intertidal shore*
  • Brackish meadow* (guide)
  • Brackish tidal marsh* (guide)
  • Coastal salt pond (guide)
  • Estuarine common reed marsh*
  • Estuarine ditch
  • High salt marsh (guide)

Associated Species

  • Agalinis
  • Ageratina altissima
  • Agrostis gigantea (red-top)
  • Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bent)
  • Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
  • Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)
  • Apocynum cannabinum (Indian-hemp)
  • Arctium
  • Asclepias incarnata
  • Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
  • Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
  • Atriplex patula (spear orach)
  • Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel-tree)
  • Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
  • Bolboschoenus fluviatilis (river bulrush)
  • Bolboschoenus robustus (sea-coast bulrush)
  • Calamagrostis canadensis
  • Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
  • Campanula aparinoides (marsh bellflower)
  • Carex hormathodes (marsh straw sedge)
  • Carex lasiocarpa
  • Centaurium erythraea (common centaury)
  • Cicuta maculata
  • Cirsium arvense (creeping thistle, Canada thistle)
  • Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
  • Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood, red-panicled dogwood)
  • Daucus carota (wild carrot)
  • Dichanthelium acuminatum
  • Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew)
  • Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn-olive)
  • Eleocharis parvula (salt-loving spike-rush)
  • Elymus repens (quack grass)
  • Equisetum arvense (field horsetail, common horsetail)
  • Euthamia caroliniana (slender flat-topped-goldenrod)
  • Euthamia graminifolia (common flat-topped-goldenrod)
  • Eutrochium maculatum
  • Fimbristylis autumnalis (autumn fimbry)
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)
  • Galium obtusum
  • Helenium autumnale (common sneezeweed)
  • Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos (swamp rose-mallow)
  • Hordeum jubatum
  • Iris prismatica (slender blue iris, slender blue flag)
  • Iris versicolor (blue flag)
  • Juncus gerardii
  • Juncus torreyi (Torrey's rush)
  • Lathyrus palustris (marsh vetchling)
  • Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
  • Moehringia lateriflora (blunt-leaved-sandwort)
  • Myrica pensylvanica
  • Osmunda regalis
  • Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
  • Persicaria sagittata (arrow-leaved tear-thumb)
  • Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
  • Phragmites australis ssp. americanus
  • Phragmites australis ssp. australis
  • Plantago major (common plantain)
  • Pluchea odorata (salt marsh-fleabane)
  • Poa palustris (fowl blue grass)
  • Prunus serotina
  • Puccinellia distans (European alkali grass)
  • Pycnanthemum muticum (short-toothed mountain-mint)
  • Salix alba (white willow)
  • Samolus valerandi (water pimpernel, brookweed)
  • Schoenoplectus americanus (chair-maker's bulrush)
  • Schoenoplectus pungens
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stemmed bulrush)
  • Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skull-cap)
  • Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrow-leaved blue-eyed-grass)
  • Solanum dulcamara (bitter-sweet nightshade)
  • Solidago altissima
  • Solidago gigantea (swamp goldenrod)
  • Sonchus arvensis
  • Spartina pectinata (prairie cord grass)
  • Spergularia maritima
  • Spergularia salina
  • Stachys palustris (marsh hedge-nettle)
  • Stuckenia pectinata (Sago pondweed)
  • Symphyotrichum lanceolatum
  • Symphyotrichum puniceum
  • Teucrium canadense (American germander)
  • Thelypteris palustris
  • Toxicodendron radicans
  • Triadenum virginicum
  • Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cat-tail)
  • Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis
  • Utricularia geminiscapa (hidden-fruited bladderwort)
  • Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
  • Viburnum dentatum var. venosum (southern arrowwood)


New York State Distribution

This plant ranges from the salt marshes of Long Island to the inland salt ponds and marshes of the Finger Lakes.

Global Distribution

This plant ranges from coastal Nova Scotia and Quebec to New York in the Northeast then west and south from Michigan to Texas to the west coast and Alaska.

Best Places to See

  • Carncross Salt Pond Preserve
  • Jones Beach State Park (Suffolk County)

Identification Comments

General Description

Seaside Bulrush is a stout perennial graminoid (grass-like) plant, arising from tuberous rhizomes, with a triangular stem up to 1.5 m tall and 3 to 8 mm wide. The leaves sheath the stem for at least half its length, their widest blades are 2 to 12 mm wide. The infloresence consists of sessile spikelets, either solitary or in groups of 2-10, held on 1 to 4 rays up to 8 cm long, and overtopped by bracts up to 6 mm wide. The spikelets are covered with straw colored to orange-brown translucent pistillate scales. These cover brown achenes 2.3 to 4.1 mm long with beaks 0.1 to 0.4 mm long (FNA 2002).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

Seaside Bulrush best identified when in fruit.

Similar Species

Seaside Bulrush is the only species of Bolboschoenus in New York with all its spikelets sessile. B. robustus has at least some spikelets on evident branches, and has opaque, papery floral scales, differing from the hyaline, membranous floral scales of B. maritimus. Paludosus is the only subspecies of B. maritimus known from New York (FNA 2002).

Best Time to See

Seaside Bulrush flowers in August and the fruits can persist into October.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Seaside Bulrush flowering and fruiting in New York.

Seaside Bulrush Images

Images of Similar Species


Seaside Bulrush
Bolboschoenus maritimus ssp. paludosus (A. Nelson) T. Koyama

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Monocotyledoneae (Monocots)
        • Order Cyperales
          • Family Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Prairie Bulrush
  • Salmarsh Bulrush
  • Bayonet-grass


  • Scirpus maritimus var. fernaldii (Bickn.)Beetle
  • Scirpus maritimus var. paludosus (A. Nels.) Kukenth.
  • Scirpus maritimus L.
  • Scirpus paludosus A. Nels.
  • Scirpus paludosus var. atlanticus Fern.

Additional Resources

Best Identification Reference

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Other References

Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 23. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. 608 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association, Albany, New York


About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Stephen M. Young and Richard M. Ring

Information for this guide was last updated on: January 24, 2012

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Bolboschoenus maritimus ssp. paludosus. Available from: Accessed March 22, 2019.

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