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Common club-rush

Scientific name: Schoenoplectus lacustris
The dark green, straight and spiky stems of Common club-rush are a familiar wetland sight. They are ideal for weaving and were traditionally used to make baskets, seats and mats.

Species information


Height: up to 3m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The stout and tall Common club-rush is an abundant plant of shallow water, including the margins of lakes, ponds, canals, slow-moving rivers and ditches. It flowers from June to August and spreads using rhizomes (underground stems). Its straight, rounded stems are ideal for weaving and it was regularly used to make baskets, seats and mats. Mixed with scented herbs, it was also used to line the cold stone floors of churches and halls before carpets and floorboards became common.

How to identify

Common club-rush has dark green, spiky stems that are rounded in cross-section. The stems bear loose flower heads with brown, egg-shaped spikelets (containing the flowers).



Did you know?

In common with Great Reedmace, Common Club-rush is also sometimes known as 'Bulrush'.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.