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FloweringRush

Flowering rush
(Butomus umbellatus)

Emergent aquatic perennial that can grow to be 1-5’ tall. It can also survive in water as deep as 10’.



Overview

Regulated areas of flowering rush
This species is listed as Restricted(orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: grassy rush, water-gladiolus

Ecological threat:

  • Marshes, backwaters, and along shorelines; forms dense colonies and crowds out native species.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for flowering rush was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves: These 3-sided leaves are stiff, narrow and triangular in a cross-section. They get to be 3’ tall and 0.5” wide. May remain submerged if water is too deep, but are limp.

Flowers: White to light pink-rose in color. Flowers have 3 petals, 3 sepals, and red anthers. Terminal umbels bloom June-August; rise above leaves. Will not emerge or flower if in deep water.

Fruits & seeds: Clustered follicles with long beaks containing many seeds that are generally not viable.

Roots: Rhizomes that aid in vegetative growth also produce small bulbs, or bulblets, that are easily dispersed by water.

Similar species: Bur-reed (Sparganium spp.) is another shallow-water emergent that is roughly the same height as flowering rush and also has similar leaves. However, bur-reeds have v-shaped leaves and the female flower parts look like small, spiked balls.

Distribution

Butomus_umbellatus
Counties in WI where flowering rush has been reported (as of April 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you know of flowering rush locations? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical: Can be cut several times throughout the year below the water line. Small populations can be dug out making sure to get all of the root fragments.

Chemical: Some aquatic herbicides may control flowering rush infestations. Aquatic approved herbicides require a permit

Photos

View flowering rush pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:

  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 142-143

Links for More Information

Last revised: Thursday October 31 2013