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Scheuchzeria palustris

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Scheuchzeriaceae (Rannock-rush)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Bogs, fens, gardens, riverbanks, riversides, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Yellow, 6 petals
The flowers appear in loose clusters of 3 to 10. They are yellowish-green and about 5mm across. 6 stamens.
The fruit is a 5 or 6mm long follicle. The fruits contain 2 seeds each.
Flat, linear leaves with inflated sheath bases. Leaves are up to 20cm (9 inches) long. Blunt leaf tips. Perennial.
Other Names:
Pod Grass, Scheuchzer's Rannoch-rush.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Scheuchzeria palustris, also known as Scheuchzer's Rannoch-rush, is a perennial herb that is native to wetland habitats in Europe and Asia. It typically grows in bogs, fens, and along the edges of streams and rivers. It has long, narrow leaves and small, brownish-green flowers that bloom in the summer. It can grow up to 60cm tall. It prefers moist, acidic soils and full sun to partial shade. It is considered as a rare and endangered species in some parts of its native range. It is also used as an ornamental plant, particularly in wetland and bog gardens.


Rannock-rush, also known by its scientific name Scheuchzeria palustris, is a unique plant that is native to boggy or marshy habitats in Europe, Asia, and North America. This plant has several interesting features that make it stand out from other wetland plants, and it has been studied for its potential uses in medicine, as well as for its ecological significance.

One of the most striking features of the Rannock-rush is its appearance. The plant grows to be about 20 to 40 cm tall and has long, thin leaves that are about 2 to 3 mm wide. The leaves are bright green and have a distinctive zigzag pattern that gives the plant an almost geometric appearance. The flowers of the Rannock-rush are also quite unique, with a yellow-green color and a star-like shape. The flowers appear in late spring and early summer, and can be seen growing in dense clusters at the top of the plant.

While the Rannock-rush is not typically used in traditional medicine, it has been studied for its potential health benefits. The plant contains several bioactive compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which can be beneficial for overall health. Additionally, some studies have suggested that the Rannock-rush may have potential as a natural treatment for certain types of cancer, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.

In addition to its potential uses in medicine, the Rannock-rush also plays an important role in the ecology of wetland habitats. The plant is well-adapted to growing in environments that are low in nutrients, and it is often one of the first species to colonize new wetland habitats. The Rannock-rush has a deep root system that helps to stabilize the soil, which can be important for preventing erosion and maintaining the structure of the wetland ecosystem. Additionally, the plant provides important habitat and food for a variety of wetland wildlife, including insects, birds, and small mammals.

Despite its many interesting features, the Rannock-rush is not commonly cultivated or grown as a garden plant. This is largely due to the fact that it is adapted to growing in wetland habitats, and may not thrive in other environments. However, for those who are interested in wetland conservation or ecology, the Rannock-rush can be a fascinating plant to observe in its natural habitat. Whether you are a biologist, a botanist, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, the Rannock-rush is a plant that is well worth getting to know.

One interesting aspect of the Rannock-rush is its name. The name "Rannock" comes from the Rannoch Moor, a large boggy area in Scotland where the plant is commonly found. The plant is also known as the "False Asphodel" or "Swamp Scheuchzeria". The genus name "Scheuchzeria" honors the Swiss naturalist Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, who was one of the first scientists to study the plant in detail.

The Rannock-rush is a hardy plant that can survive in a wide range of wetland habitats, from acidic peat bogs to alkaline fens. The plant grows well in soils that are high in organic matter, and is adapted to growing in areas that are prone to flooding or waterlogging. In some wetland habitats, the Rannock-rush may form extensive mats or stands, which can help to create a stable and diverse ecosystem.

The Rannock-rush has also been the subject of several studies investigating its potential use as a biomonitoring tool. As a wetland plant, the Rannock-rush is exposed to a range of environmental pollutants and contaminants, and its tissues can absorb and accumulate these substances over time. By analyzing the bioaccumulation of pollutants in the Rannock-rush, scientists can gain insights into the health of wetland ecosystems and the impacts of human activities on these important habitats.

The Rannock-rush is a fascinating plant that is well adapted to life in wetland environments. With its striking appearance, potential health benefits, and ecological significance, the Rannock-rush is a plant that is worth learning more about for anyone interested in the natural world.

The Rannock-rush has been used historically for various purposes. For example, the plant has been used as a source of yellow dye for wool, and the stems of the plant have been used to make baskets and other woven items. In some cultures, the Rannock-rush has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions.

In addition to its potential health benefits and ecological significance, the Rannock-rush is also a valuable resource for researchers studying wetland ecosystems. The plant is one of many wetland species that are at risk of habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as agriculture, development, and climate change. By studying the Rannock-rush and other wetland plants, scientists can gain insights into the impacts of these activities on these important ecosystems and work to develop strategies for their conservation and restoration.

Rannock-rush is a remarkable plant with many interesting features and potential uses. As wetland habitats continue to be threatened by human activities and climate change, understanding and preserving plants like the Rannock-rush is more important than ever. Whether you are a botanist, a conservationist, or simply someone who loves nature, the Rannock-rush is a plant that is well worth getting to know.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Rannock-rush is its adaptation to living in wetland environments. The plant has several unique features that enable it to thrive in these challenging habitats. For example, the Rannock-rush has a specialized root system that helps it to absorb nutrients from the waterlogged soil. The roots of the plant are long and thin, and can extend up to 50 cm deep into the soil.

The leaves of the Rannock-rush also play an important role in its adaptation to wetland habitats. The leaves are very thin and narrow, which helps to reduce water loss through transpiration. Additionally, the leaves have a unique arrangement that helps to maximize their exposure to sunlight. The leaves are arranged in a zigzag pattern that helps to increase the plant's surface area and capture more light.

Another interesting aspect of the Rannock-rush is its ability to survive in low-nutrient environments. Wetland soils are often very low in nutrients, as the waterlogged conditions prevent the buildup of organic matter. The Rannock-rush is able to survive in these conditions by developing a mutualistic relationship with certain bacteria. The bacteria live in the roots of the plant and help to fix nitrogen from the air, making it available for the plant to use.

In terms of conservation, the Rannock-rush is a plant that is considered to be of conservation concern in some areas. The plant is vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation due to human activities, and is also at risk of being over-collected for medicinal or other purposes. In some areas, efforts are underway to protect and restore wetland habitats, including those that are home to the Rannock-rush. These efforts are important for ensuring the continued survival of this remarkable plant and the many other species that depend on wetland habitats for their survival.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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