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Sea Club-rush

Bolboschoenus maritimus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Cyperaceae (Sedge)
Also in this family:
American Galingale, Birdsfoot Sedge, Black Alpine Sedge, Black Bog-rush, Bladder Sedge, Bog Sedge, Bottle Sedge, Bristle Club-rush, Bristle Sedge, Broad-leaved Cotton-grass, Brown Beak-sedge, Brown Bog-rush, Chestnut Rush, Close-headed Alpine Sedge, Club Sedge, Common Club-rush, Common Cotton-grass, Common Sedge, Common Spike-rush, Curved Sedge, Deergrass, Dioecious Sedge, Distant Sedge, Divided Sedge, Dotted Sedge, Downy-fruited Sedge, Dwarf Sedge, Dwarf Spike-rush, Estuarine Sedge, False Fox Sedge, False Sedge, Few-flowered Sedge, Few-flowered Spike-rush, Fibrous Tussock Sedge, Fingered Sedge, Flat Sedge, Flea Sedge, Floating Club-rush, Gingerbread Sedge, Glaucous Sedge, Great Fen Sedge, Greater Pond Sedge, Greater Tussock Sedge, Green-ribbed Sedge, Grey Club-rush, Grey Sedge, Hair Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Haresfoot Sedge, Hare's-tail Cotton-grass, Heath Sedge, Hop Sedge, Large Yellow Sedge, Lesser Pond Sedge, Lesser Tussock Sedge, Long-bracted Sedge, Many-stalked Spike-rush, Mountain Bog Sedge, Needle Spike-rush, Northern Deergrass, Northern Spike-rush, Oval Sedge, Pale Sedge, Pendulous Sedge, Perennial Sedge, Pill Sedge, Prickly Sedge, Remote Sedge, Rock Sedge, Round-headed Club-rush, Russet Sedge, Salt Sedge, Sand Sedge, Scorched Alpine Sedge, Sheathed Sedge, Slender Club-rush, Slender Cotton-grass, Slender Sedge, Slender Spike-rush, Slender Tufted Sedge, Smooth-stalked Sedge, Soft-leaved Sedge, Spiked Sedge, Spring Sedge, Star Sedge, Starved Wood Sedge, Stiff Sedge, String Sedge, Sweet Galingale, Tall Bog Sedge, Tawny Sedge, Thin-spiked Wood Sedge, Triangular Club-rush, True Fox Sedge, Tufted Sedge, Water Sedge, White Beak-sedge, White Sedge, Wood Club-rush, Wood Sedge, Yellow Sedge
Life Cycle:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Saltmarshes, seaside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
Unstalked egg-shaped spikelets, reddish-brown, leaf-like bracts much longer than flowerheads.
Brown 3-angled, oval nutlet.
Keeled grass-like leaves, often with rough edges.
Other Names:
Alkali Bulrush, Bayonet Grass, Cosmopolitan Bulrush, Saltmarsh Bulrush.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Bolboschoenus maritimus, also known as saltmarsh bulrush or sea clubrush, is a species of plant in the family Cyperaceae. It is native to wetlands and marshes in Europe, Asia, and North America. Saltmarsh bulrush is a large, herbaceous plant that grows in a tufted or clumped habit. It has thick, fleshy stems and long, grass-like leaves. It produces small, brown or greenish-brown flowers that are surrounded by papery bracts. The plant is commonly found in wetland habitats and is used in horticulture as an ornamental plant.


Sea Club-rush, Bolboschoenus maritimus, is a salt-tolerant species of plant found along the coasts of the northern hemisphere. This plant is known for its ability to grow in the challenging coastal environments, where it can tolerate the harsh conditions of salt spray and strong winds.

The Sea Club-rush has a distinctive appearance, with long, narrow leaves and small, brown spikes that rise above the foliage. It typically grows to be about 1-2 feet tall, with a clumping habit that can spread outwards from the main plant over time.

One of the key benefits of Sea Club-rush is its ability to help stabilize the coastal dunes and prevent erosion. It has an extensive root system that helps to anchor the soil and protect against wind and water damage. In addition, the plant is a popular choice for landscaping and gardening, due to its attractive appearance and ability to grow well in salt-laden environments.

Another important aspect of Sea Club-rush is its ecological significance. The plant provides valuable habitats for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects, which can use the plant for shelter and food. This in turn can help to support the overall health and diversity of the coastal ecosystems.

When growing Sea Club-rush, it is important to select a location that is well-drained and exposed to plenty of sunlight. The plant is also salt-tolerant, but it is important to avoid areas that are frequently flooded or otherwise inundated with saltwater, as this can lead to damage or death of the plant.

Sea Club-rush is a unique and valuable species of plant that plays an important role in coastal ecosystems. Whether you are a gardener looking to add some interesting plants to your landscape, or an ecologist interested in the role that plants play in coastal environments, Sea Club-rush is definitely worth considering.

Additionally, Sea Club-rush is a hardy and low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. It is drought-tolerant, and only needs to be watered occasionally. The plant is also resistant to pests and diseases, making it a great choice for gardeners who want to add a salt-tolerant plant to their collection without having to worry about frequent maintenance.

When planting Sea Club-rush, it is important to choose a location that is in well-drained soil and exposed to plenty of sunlight. The plant can be propagated from seed, or by dividing the clumps of plants in the spring or fall. Once established, the Sea Club-rush will grow well with minimal care, making it a great choice for gardeners who want to add an attractive, low-maintenance plant to their landscape.

Sea Club-rush is an amazing plant with numerous benefits. Its salt-tolerance, hardiness, low-maintenance, and ecological significance make it an excellent choice for coastal landscapes and gardens.

In addition to its practical benefits, Sea Club-rush also has a rich cultural and historical significance. In many coastal communities, the plant has long been used for medicinal purposes, and is still used today in some traditional cultures to treat a variety of ailments.

Moreover, Sea Club-rush has also been used for ornamental purposes throughout history, and was prized by many gardeners for its distinctive appearance and ability to thrive in harsh coastal environments. In fact, in some cultures, the plant was seen as a symbol of resilience and perseverance, and was used to decorate homes and gardens to bring good luck and prosperity.

Despite its many benefits, Sea Club-rush is not without its challenges. As a salt-tolerant plant, it is often found in areas where human activities, such as coastal development and shoreline armoring, are causing damage to the natural coastal ecosystems. In some cases, this can lead to the loss of Sea Club-rush populations and other salt-tolerant species, which can have a negative impact on the overall health of the coastal environment.

In conclusion, Sea Club-rush is an important species of plant with a rich cultural and historical significance, as well as practical benefits for coastal ecosystems and gardens. Despite the challenges it faces, this plant remains an important part of the coastal landscape, and is well worth preserving for future generations to enjoy.


Sea Club-rush filmed at Humphrey Head, Cumbria on the 17th July 2022.


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