Scirpus atrovirens - Dark Green Bulrush

We grew and listed this over a decade ago and are glad to have it back in our collection. This is actually a wetland plant but grows in any irrigated area. I remember growing it with Carex muskingumensis and despite the heat of summer, these two green plants added a cooling effect to the landscape.

As a young plant you may think of this as only for the naturalist, but as it matures it enters into the realm of ornamental.

Description: cool season; clump forming
Foliage is attractive, green; medium blade width; 90-120 cm (39-48") in height
Flowers bloom June-July; almost black; 120-150 cm (48-60") tall
Form - arching leaves, upright form

Ideal conditions: open sunny areas; moist soil; drought tolerant once established; in very hot dry climates, grow in light shade

Zone: 3-9 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Pycnanthemum muticum, Valeriana, Carex muskingumensis, Juncus, Phalaris 'Feesey', Alopecurus 'Aureovariegatus'

Season of interest: from early summer onwards

Suggested uses: ideal for rain gardens and other low areas where water drains into; great for water features and will grow in shallow water

Plant or divide: spring or early fall

Drought tolerance rating: 3 (water to root depth every week); further info

Recommended spacing between plants: 90-120cm (39-48") why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Scirpus (SKER-pus) atrovirens (atroh-VYE-rens)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Scirpus atrovirens to our other grasses in this handy chart.

Scirpus atrovirens - Green Bulrush
Scirpus atrovirens - Dark Green Bulrush
Photo credit: Jennifer Anderson -

from the USDA website: states and
provinces where
Scirpus atrovirens is native