Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani   Grey Clubrush C DD N

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani close

These days the naming issue arises as taxonomists get evidence that previous classifications have been wrong but in the case of this plant the English name is the issue. Francis Rose insists that this is the Grey Bulrush and the related species Schoenoplectus lacustris is a Bulrush. In other books you will find that a Bulrush is thought to be Typha latifolia and I must say that although I was sternly lectured early on in my botanical career about wrongly calling something a Bulrush, the majority of public opinion is such that Typha latifolia gets the vote. Until recently the BSBI sat uncomfortably on the fence and gave several English names to these two plants but is now reluctantly coming round to recognise this disgraceful public "mis-identification" as the name we should all use.

This is a plant most often found in wet or damp dune slacks and being about 1 m tall is easy to see. In the British Isles it does occur inland but its distribution is overall coastal and it occurs in the north of Scotland, all round the coast Ireland as well as England and Wales. The stems are quite thick, sometimes a bit glaucous but not as wide as Schoenoplectus lacustris.

Dune slack Southport 23rd July 2005

Added on November 24th 2005, updated 31st January 2012

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