Scirpus longii

Common Names:
Long's bulrush
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
New England Wild Flower Society

The conservation of Scirpus longii is fully sponsored.
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth contributed to this Plant Profile.


This bulrush is found only in the eastern United States, mainly along the coastal plain, from Nova Scotia to southern New Jersey. A wetland plant, it inhabits open, peaty swales, river meadows, abandoned cranberry bogs, and other areas with fluctuating water levels. The species is notable for its stout rhizome, and its tendency to form distinctive, circular clones. Periodic fires appear to benefit the plant by stimulating flowering and enhancing seedling establishment. Although the species has been declining due to habitat conversion, competition with invasive species, and an absence of fire (and is now considered extinct in Connecticut and New York), the good news is that botanists have recently discovered several healthy populations.

Research and Management Summary:
A handful of individuals and institutions are studying the ecology of this species, and conservation planning is underway for this species throughout its range.

Plant Description:
Scirpus longii is a robust, perennial sedge that forms dense, leafy tussocks, with stems growing up to 1.5 m tall. The plants rarely flower, but colonize sites vegetatively and form circular clones by means of thick rhizomes. The species is also distinguished by its reddish-brown achenes (fruits), long bristles that exceed the scales, and its "woolly" inflorescences borne on relatively long pedicels that appear earlier in the year (June) than other bulrushes.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research