← Back to Plant Finder

Hardstem Bulrush
Schoenoplectus acutus

Persistent, native, perennial, emergent herb. Often forms large colonies. Hardstem bulrush can form colonial stands or intermix with other emergents. Hardstem bulrush has been used in many conditions, from lake revegetation to shoreline and vegetated swales due to its ability to resist wave action and water level changes. It can be used in situations of eroding dams and shores to limit silt movement or act as a buffer plant. Hardstem bulrush also creates excellent wildlife habitat.

USDA symbol: SCAC3

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height6 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureWet
Bloom ColorOrange
Hardstem Bulrush (Hardstem Bulrush<div><em class="small">Schoenoplectus acutus</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceHigh
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceHigh
Stress ToleranceGeneral Disturbance

Pollinator Value: None Known

Bloom MonthsAugust to September

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Erosion Control, Restoration, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadMedium
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Scott, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands