Open the Advanced Search

Round-headed Club-rush

Scirpoides holoschoenus

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 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, 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:
150 centimetres tall
Sand dunes, seaside.

Brown, no petals
Long-stalked, globular flowerheads. A very long leafy bract is situated at the base of the flower cluster. Pale brown to begin with, eventually turning reddish-brown.
A small, dark brown, one-seeded fruit.
Clump-forming and rush-like in appearance. The short leaves are strap-shaped. The stems are rigid and cylindrical, ending in a sharp point just above the flowers.
Other Names:
Clustered Club-rush, Clustered Rush, Roundhead Bulrush, Round-stemmed Clubrush, Whole-spike Clubrush.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Scirpoides holoschoenus, also known as round-stemmed clubrush or whole-spike clubrush, is a species of plant in the family Cyperaceae. It is native to wetlands and marshes in Europe, Asia, and North America. Round-stemmed clubrush is a small, herbaceous plant that grows in a tufted or clumped habit. It has thin, wiry stems and small, grass-like leaves. It produces small, brown or greenish-brown flowers that are surrounded by papery bracts. The plant has a round or circular stem, which gives it its common name. It is commonly found in wetland habitats and is used in horticulture as an ornamental plant.


Round-headed Club-rush (Scirpoides holoschoenus) is a species of flowering plant commonly found in wetlands and marshy areas in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a versatile and adaptable species that has a high tolerance for a wide range of growing conditions, making it an ideal choice for gardening and landscaping.

The Round-headed Club-rush has long, narrow leaves that are typically green or blue-green in color. Its stems are upright and unbranched, growing to a height of 1 to 3 feet. The plant produces spikes of small, delicate flowers that bloom in the summer and are surrounded by a ring of bracts. These flowers are an important food source for many species of insects, including bees and butterflies.

The plant's round, club-like seed heads give it its name and are also a distinctive feature. These seed heads form after the flowers have withered and are an important food source for waterfowl and other wildlife. The plant's roots are shallow, but strong and fibrous, allowing it to anchor itself firmly in the soil and withstand strong currents.

Round-headed Club-rush is an excellent choice for gardens and landscapes near water, as it helps to prevent soil erosion and improve water quality. It is also ideal for rain gardens, which are designed to capture rainwater and allow it to percolate back into the soil. This plant is also a great option for water features and pond edges, where it can be used to provide visual interest and habitat for wildlife.

Round-headed Club-rush is a versatile and attractive plant that is well suited for a wide range of growing conditions. Whether you are looking for a low-maintenance option for your water feature or a way to enhance the beauty of your garden, this species is an excellent choice.

Round-headed Club-rush is a versatile and hardy plant, making it an excellent option for landscaping and gardening in areas with varying water levels and water quality. It is able to tolerate low to moderate salinity, making it suitable for use in brackish environments.

In addition to its ornamental value, Round-headed Club-rush has a number of ecological benefits. Its root system helps to stabilize the soil and reduce erosion in wetlands, while its leaves and stems provide habitat and shelter for a variety of aquatic wildlife. The plant is also an important source of food for many species of birds, including ducks, geese, and swans.

Round-headed Club-rush is easy to care for and maintain, making it an ideal option for both novice and experienced gardeners. It requires little maintenance, and once established, it can be quite drought-tolerant. The plant prefers full sun to partial shade, and it grows best in moist, fertile soil. It is also relatively pest-resistant and does not require regular applications of pesticides or herbicides.

Overall, Round-headed Club-rush is a great addition to any garden, landscaping project, or water feature. Its ornamental value, ecological benefits, and ease of care make it an ideal choice for a wide range of growing conditions.

Round-headed Club-rush is also a popular choice for use in constructed wetlands, which are man-made wetlands used for wastewater treatment and other purposes. The plant's ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including low oxygen levels, makes it an ideal choice for this type of application.

In addition, Round-headed Club-rush has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its root has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, urinary tract infections, and skin irritations. While more research is needed to fully understand the medicinal properties of this plant, its use in traditional medicine highlights its potential for future uses.

In conclusion, Round-headed Club-rush is a versatile and valuable plant, with a wide range of uses and benefits. From landscaping and gardening to wastewater treatment and traditional medicine, this species is a must-have for anyone looking to add some ecological and ornamental value to their outdoor space. So why not consider adding Round-headed Club-rush to your landscape today, and enjoy its many benefits for years to come!

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map