Soft Stem Bulrush (Scirpus Validus) is a tall, perennial, herbaceous sedge plant that grows up to ten feet tall. The leaves are highly modified into long sheaths that closely girdle stem bases. The flowers are borne in an open inflorescence of many stalked, budlike spikelets, covered by reddish brown scales below the top of the stem. The fruit is a brownish gray. Soft Stem Bulrush is found in deep or shallow water, muddy, marshy shoreline ground of lakes, ponds, streams, and wooded wetlands and prefers poorly drained soil and saline growing conditons. Soft Stem Bulrush was reported as edible and reputed to serve as a thirst-quencher; the boiled young roots yield sweet syrup. Great habitat for muskrats, raccoon, and otters and common food source for ducks, and used nesting cover many water birds, marsh wrens and other waterfowl.
|Soil Moisture||Wet, Wet Mesic|
|Max Height||6 feet|
|Germ Code||C(60), D|
|Seeds Per Ounce||31,000|
Edible Uses: "Root - raw or cooked. Rich in starch. The root contains a meagre amount of starch. The sweet roots are eaten raw in mid summer. The bruised young roots, when boiled in water, furnish a sweet syrup. Young shoots - cooked. The tender base of the stem is eaten raw in salads. The pollen is used in soups or mixed with flour and used in making bread. It is rich in protein. Seed. No further details are given but it is probably ground into a powder and used in making bread etc. The seed is small and rather fiddly to harvest and utilize."
Medicinal Uses: "The root is astringent and diuretic. The stem pith is haemostatic. A poultice of the stem pith has been placed under a dressing in order to stop wounds bleeding."
Other Uses: The stems are used in weaving and basket making. They are used to make good quality mats for use on the floor, for sleeping on and for making temporary partitions. The stems are pulled off the plant rather than cut to ensure the maximum length of stem.
Herbal Uses: Unknown