Wednesday, January 26
We all know about the store of Baby Moses being hidden in the bulrushes and found by the daughter of pharaoh, but not many people are aware of just what kind of plant a bulrush is. Many people somehow equate bulrushes with cattails, but even though both plants grow in swampy places or even shallow water they are two distinct species.
The bulrush belongs to the family of sedges and is a much slower growing plant that cattails due to the fact that bulrushes do not produce seeds and proliferate by underground rhizomes. The bulrushes are members of the genus Scirpus and are annual or perennial plants that can grow to as much as 10 feet tall, though most are much shorter. The bulrushes are divided into two groups, the soft-stem bulrushes and the hard stem bulrushes, though both groups are similar in appearance and grow in similar places they are different plants. Both types are reed like plants with long firm leaves, olive green three sided stems and clusters of small brown spikelet are that are often seen drooping near the stem tips.
Bulrushes are prized for their use in helping negate pollution in wetlands areas and are often used in wetlands reclamation projects. The plants are also very popular as landscaping plants and will add a touch of regal beauty to any swampy areas, or around the edges of ponds and streams. When used in landscaped natural areas the bulrush encourages a healthy environment by providing hiding spots for small fish and tadpoles as well as controlling erosion around the margins of the wetlands area. Anyone who wishes to improve the appearance of their wetlands areas while also helping the environment and animal life of the region would do well to invest in this hearty and beautiful plant.