Schoenoplectus californicus

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Schoenoplectus californicus
California bulrush
Scirpus californicus flowers 2005-03-24.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Schoenoplectus
S. californicus
Binomial name
Schoenoplectus californicus
  • Dichromena atrosanguinea
  • Elytrospermum californicum
  • Malacochaete assimilis
  • Malacochaete chilense
  • Malacochaete oligostachya
  • Malacochaete riparia
  • Malacochaete sanguinolenta
  • Malacochaete tatora
  • Schoenoplectus chamissoi
  • Schoenoplectus pseudotriqueter
  • Schoenoplectus riparius
  • Schoenoplectus tatora
  • Scirpus californicus
  • Scirpus chamissoi
  • Scirpus decipiens
  • Scirpus pseudotriqueter
  • Scirpus rigidus
  • Scirpus tereticulmis

Schoeneoplectus californicus is a species of sedge known by the common names California bulrush,[2] southern bulrush and giant bulrush. It is also sometimes called "tule", but the closely related Schoenoplectus acutus is the species most often referred to by that name.


Schoenoplectus californicus is a rhizomed water plant found in marshy areas. It is native to the southern and western United States as well as Mexico, Central America, South America, Easter Island, and the Falkland Islands. It is naturalized on some Pacific islands including New Zealand, Hawaii and the Cook Islands.[1][3][4][5] It has tall, thin, dark green stems which are usually triangular in cross-section and woolly, bristly tan or brown flowers in panicle inflorescences.[6][7]


A notable subspecies is the totora, Schoenoplectus californicus subsp. tatora. This is famous for making up the floating islands on which the Uros people of Lake Titicaca dwell, as well as occurring on isolated Easter Island in the Pacific.[8]


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ "Schoenoplectus californicus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program, 2013 country distribution map
  4. ^ Adams, C. D. 1994. 17. Schoenoplectus (H.G. Reichb.) Palla. 6: 449–450. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D. F.
  5. ^ Forzza, R. C. 2010. Lista de espécies Flora do Brasil Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
  6. ^ Jepson Interchange: Schoenoplectus californicus
  7. ^ Gonzalez. 2007. Sinopsis de Scirpus s.l. (Cyperaceae) para México. Acta Botánica Mexicana 82: 15–41.
  8. ^ Charles Heiser. 1978. The Totora (Scirpus Californicus) in Ecuador and Peru. Economic Botany July–September 1978, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 222-236

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