Open the Advanced Search

Common Club-rush

Schoenoplectus lacustris

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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 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, Sea Club-rush, 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:
3 metres tall
Bogs, ditches, marshes, ponds, riverbanks, riversides, swamps, water, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
Loose clusters of branches containing reddish-brown, egg-shaped spikelets. Flowers have 3 styles and a leaflike bract which is shorter than the cluster itself. Wind pollinated.
A brown, 3-angled nutlet. The seeds ripen in August and September.
Strap-like leaves (up to 10cm / 4 inches long) which are all submerged beneath the water. The stems above water are leafless. Perennial.
Other Names:
Bulrush, Clubrush, Lake Clubrush, Lakeshore Bulrush.

Similar Species

Other Information


Schoenoplectus lacustris, also known as common clubrush or lake clubrush, is a species of plant in the family Cyperaceae. It is native to wetlands and marshes in Europe, Asia, and North America. Common clubrush 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.


Common Club-rush (Schoenoplectus lacustris) is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Cyperaceae family. It is commonly found in marshes, swamps, and other wet habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The plant is known for its long, cylindrical stems and dense clusters of inconspicuous flowers.

The Common Club-rush grows in clumps that can reach up to 3 meters tall and is commonly found along the edges of ponds, lakes, and rivers. The plant's stems are smooth and firm, and its leaves are long, narrow, and dark green in color. The plant's flowers are small and inconspicuous, but they are surrounded by bright green bracts that can be seen from a distance.

The Common Club-rush is an important species for many wetland habitats. It provides food and habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals, and its dense root system helps to prevent soil erosion. The plant is also a valuable resource for humans, as it has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history, including for weaving baskets and mats, and for making brooms and brushes.

In recent years, the Common Club-rush has become a popular ornamental plant for use in landscaping. Its attractive form and hardy nature make it well-suited for use in garden ponds, wetland gardens, and other water-based landscapes. The plant is also relatively low-maintenance, making it an excellent choice for gardeners who want a beautiful, low-maintenance water feature in their yards.

In conclusion, the Common Club-rush is a versatile and valuable species that is well-suited for use in a variety of habitats. Its hardy nature, attractive form, and useful properties make it an excellent choice for gardeners, landscapers, and anyone who wants to bring the beauty of a wetland habitat into their yard.

Aside from its ornamental and practical uses, the Common Club-rush has a number of ecological benefits as well. As mentioned earlier, it provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds and small mammals. The plant is also a keystone species in many wetland habitats, helping to maintain the structure and stability of these ecosystems.

The plant's extensive root system also helps to prevent soil erosion and improve water quality in its surrounding environment. The roots of the Common Club-rush absorb excess nutrients and other pollutants, helping to keep the water clean and clear. Additionally, the plant's dense clumps of stems provide shade and shelter for other aquatic species, helping to create a more diverse and resilient wetland ecosystem.

In terms of its overall distribution and conservation status, the Common Club-rush is considered to be widespread and common throughout its range. However, like many wetland species, the plant is threatened by the loss of its habitat due to human activities such as development and agriculture. In some areas, the Common Club-rush may also be threatened by the spread of non-native plant species that outcompete it for resources.

To help protect this important species and its habitats, it is important to conserve and protect wetlands and other wetland habitats. This can include protecting areas from development and other forms of disturbance, managing non-native species that may threaten native plants, and restoring degraded wetlands to their natural state. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the Common Club-rush and other wetland species continue to thrive for generations to come.

In conclusion, the Common Club-rush is an important and valuable species with a wide range of benefits for both wildlife and humans. Whether you're looking to create a beautiful water feature in your yard or help conserve important wetland habitats, this species is a great choice. By protecting and preserving its habitats, we can ensure that the Common Club-rush and other wetland species continue to thrive for many years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map