Pennsylvania Field Office
Northeast Region

Northeastern Bulrush
Life History and Biology

Northeastern bulrush Scirpus ancistrochaetus

STATUS: Endangered

DESCRIPTION: This leafy bulrush is in the sedge family (Cyperaceae), and is characterized by narrow leaves and a drooping flower head with chocolate-brown florets.

RANGE AND POPULATION LEVEL: Populations of northeastern bulrush are recorded from Quebec south to West Virginia. Pennsylvania has the largest number of occurrences.

HABITAT: The northeastern bulrush typically grows in palustrine emergent wetlands or vernal ponds surrounded by woodlands. These ponds typically experience a mid-summer drawdown, depending on annual precipitation quantities. This species is commonly found on mountain benches where water collects at a common drainage point.

REASONS FOR CURRENT STATUS: The decline of this species is attributed to multiple threats including; degradation of habitat from road construction and upland runoff, destruction by off road vehicles, deer browsing, shading and conversion of land for other uses.

Recovery Plan
(pdf 8.93MB)
5 Year Review
(pdf 500KB)
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Species Information
Last updated: September 24, 2010
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.