CPC Plant Profile: Hall's Bulrush
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Plant Profile

Hall's Bulrush (Scirpus hallii)

This shot shows the habitat of Hall's bulrush. Photo Credit: Susanne Masi
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Cyperaceae
  • State: MO, NE, OH, OK, SC, TX, WI, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MI
  • Nature Serve ID: 140335
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

Scirpus hallii, a delicate annual sedge, is a very specialized plant with a narrow habitat tolerance. It is generally found on bare, moist sandy shores of ponds where the water levels fluctuate. It is believed that the changes in water level favor the germination of the plant's seed and also act as a barrier to competition from other plants that cannot survive such changes.

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  • 09/27/2020
  • Propagation Research

Experiments in stimulating seed germination by manipulating various levels of chemicals, water levels and temperature have been conducted by Baskin and Baskin since 1991.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from widely disjunct localities in the eastern and midwestern United States, but rare throughout its range. Declining due to habitat destruction. Threatened by groundwater depletion, alterations to hydrology, wetland destruction due to development, and off-road vehicle use.? Other threats include exotic plant species, woody plant encroachment, herbicide use, excessive grazing, predation from mute swans and Canada geese, population isolation, loss of seed bank integrity, hybridization with Schoenoplectus saximontanus, and climate change resulting in increased drought.

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Invasion by the exotic purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Wetland destruction and alteration Predation from mute swans and Canadian Geese Most (87%) of populations are on private land and are not protected (McKenzie 1998). Long-term successio

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Two colonies form a population at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Bowles 1990). Twenty seven populations in Illinois (Robertson and Phillipe 1993). Two Populations in Michigan (Robertson and Phillipe 1993). Three populations in Missouri (Robertson and Phillipe 1994). According to McKenzie (1998) populations have been found in Alexander, Cass, Kankakee, Mason and Morgan Counties of Illinois; Porter County, Indiana; Reno County, Kansas; Christian County, Kentucky; Howell and Scott Counties in Missouri and Dane County, Wisconsin since 1993. O'Kennon and McLemore (2004) discovered a population in several ponds in the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas.

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Experiments in stimulating seed germination by manipulating various levels of chemicals, water levels and temperature have been conducted by Baskin and Baskin since 1991.

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Most sites containing Scirpus hallii are not under a management plan and receive no government protection.

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Management plans for Scirpus hallii will most likely be different from other endangered or rare species for two important reasons. First, land having Scirpus hallii populations needs to be purchased so that populations can be monitored and protected. Second, population protection and management needs to consider succession regulation in such a way that open sandy spaces can be maintained (Robertson and Phillipe 1993). Field research is also needed to assess the community characteristics and ecological associates of Scirpus hallii (isn't this listed above).

Andrea Tietmeyer, Kim Taylor
  • 01/01/2010

Of particular interest would be the continued work in seed banking and germination in relation to water fluctuation. Such information would be useful in determining population distribution. Mechanisms controlling seed germination (limitations on seed viability) and development of mature plants are still unclear (McKenzie 1998).


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Taxon Scirpus hallii
Authority Gray
Family Cyperaceae
CPC Number 6550
ITIS 40260
Common Names Hall's bulrush
Associated Scientific Names Scirpus hallii | Schoenoplectus hallii | Schoenoplectiella hallii
Distribution Scirpus hallii has a large but discontinuous range; it occurs in discrete, scattered populations ranging from the Great Lake States east to Massachusetts, south to Texas and as far west as Kansas.
State Rank
State State Rank
Georgia SH
Iowa SH
Illinois S1
Indiana S1
Kansas S1
Kentucky S1
Massachusetts SH
Michigan S2
Missouri S2
Nebraska S2S3
Ohio SNR
Oklahoma S1
South Carolina SNR
Texas S1
Wisconsin S1

Scirpus hallii occurs on sandy substrates such as the sandy borders of ponds or lakeshores. The fluctuating water table in these habitats maintain favorable conditions for the persistence of this and other similar species (Bowles 1990). Seeds germinate in areas around the pond where the soil is moist and exposed, with little competition from perennials.Scirpus hallii is, however, associated with several other plant species: Agrotis spp., Alisma spp., Ammania coccinea, Bacopa spp., Cyperus spp., Echinochloa spp., Eleocharis spp., Fimbristylis autumnalis (L) Roemer & Schultes,., Heterantha spp., Hypericum spp., Isoetes spp., Juncus, Leersia, Lindernia spp., Liporcarphs micrantha, Ludwigia spp., Lycopus spp.; Polygonum spp., Rhexia spp., Rhynchospora spp., Rorippa spp., Rotala ramosior (l.) Koehne, Sagittaria spp., Schoenoplectus spp., scirpus spp., Typha spp., and Xyris. Of these species, Echinodorus tenellus (parvulus) is endangered in the Midwestern States and is of special concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

Ecological Relationships

The ecological relationships between Scirpus hallii and other species has not been investigated.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Wind Suspected Pollinator Floral Link
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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