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Nodding Bulrush

Scirpus pendulus

Elegant drooping seed heads; seeds & heads eaten by waterfowl & voles; culms & rootstocks eaten by muskrats



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Scirpus pendulus, commonly known as Nodding Bulrush, is a native perennial bulrush in the sedge family.

Wildlife notes

Insects that feed on bulrushes include semi-aquatic leaf beetles, the seed bug, the plant bug Teratocoris discolor, the aphids Rhopalosiphum cerasifoliae and Schizaphis scirpicola, larvae of the leaf-miner moth Elachista madarella, stem-boring larvae of the moths Archanara oblonga (Oblong Sedge Borer) and Archanara subflava (Subflava Sedge Borer), larvae of the moth Leucania scirpicola (Scirpus Wainscot), and larvae of Meropleon diversicolor (Multicolored Sedge Miner Moth). The seeds and/or seedheads of bulrushes are an important source of food to ducks, rails, and other wetland bird. The foliage is eaten by the Canada Goose and Trumpeter Swan, while the culms and rootstocks are eaten occasionally by muskrats. Meadow Voles gnaw on the seedheads.

Forage notes

This plant is quite palatable to livestock during the growing season.

Landscaping notes

This plant prefers full sun to light shade, wet to mesic conditions, and soil with organic matter to retain moisture. However, it tolerates rocky ground if there is sufficient moisture. In sunny areas that are too dry, the leaf blades often become yellowish green, and they may wither away.

Restoration notes

Habitats include openings in moist woodlands, powerline clearances in wooded areas, moist meadows in wooded areas, sedge meadows, river-bottom prairies, wet dolomite prairies, marshes and seeps, low areas along rivers and ponds, moist depressions in limestone glades, roadside ditches, and abandoned fields. Sometimes, this species is found in mesic prairies, but this is less typical. Nodding Bulrush can be found in both disturbed and higher quality natural areas.

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

2 bulk lbs/acre


Average, Moist



Bloom Month

May, Jun

Specialty Uses

Wildlife, Landscaping, Cut Flower

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.