Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)

Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)

 

Flowering rush is an aquatic perennial that resembles our native sedge species.  It can be difficult to distinguish from native sedges, unless it is in flower.  It can grow in dense stand both in and out of water.  This species is still sometimes sold in garden centers and is readily available for purchase online.

 

 

IDENTIFICATION

Here are some key features that may help to positively identify Flowering Rush:

  • Can grow to be 1-5 ft tall
  • Leaf blades are grass-like, can grow to a meter in length and are triangular in cross section
  • Flowers are showy, pink, 2-3 cm across with 3 petals, and grow in umbrella-shaped clusters at the top of a single flowering stem
  • Flowers between May and September
  • Roots are fleshy and rhizomatous
  • Spreads by seed or bulbets that form on the roots and break off
  • Roots are buoyant, so part that break off can float and establish downstream
  • Cold weather in the fall cause leaves to fall down, unlike the native cattail species that remain upright

Flowering Rush is considered a priority species for the PEI Invasive Species Spotters Network.  If you see this plant, please report your sighting.

PEIISC factsheet on Flowering Rush