Herb: Bulrush


Latin name: Scirpus lacustris


Synonyms: Schoenoplectus lacustris


Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)



Medicinal use of Bulrush:

The roots are astringent and diuretic. They were formerly employed medicinally but have fallen into disuse. This plant is a traditional medicine for cancer.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Bogs, shallow pond margins, rivers and lakes, usually where there is abundant silt, in acid or calcareous conditions.

Edible parts of Bulrush:

Root - raw or cooked. Rich in starch, it can be dried and ground into a powder or made into a syrup. The buds at the end of the rhizomes are crisp and sweet, making excellent eating raw. Young shoots - raw or cooked. Used in spring. Seed - ground up into a powder and mixed with flour for use in making cakes etc. The seed is small and rather fiddly to harvest and utilize. Base of mature stems - raw or cooked. Somewhat tough. Pollen - raw or cooked. Rich in pollen, it is mixed with flour and used in making cakes etc.

Other uses of the herb:

The stems are frequently used for making matting, chair bottoms etc and thatching. They were at one time imported in large quantities for this purpose. The pith of the stems is used in paper making.

Propagation of Bulrush:

Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in 3cm of water. Only just cover the seed with soil. The seed usually germinates fairly quickly. Prick out the plants when large enough to handle and plant out in their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Bogs, shallow pond margins, rivers and lakes, usually where there is abundant silt, in acid or calcareous conditions.

Known hazards of Scirpus lacustris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.