Flowering rush is an emergent perennial aquatic herb that is native to Eurasia. Its leaves are sedge-like above the water surface and limp if they stay submerged beneath the water. Flowering rush grows in shallow, slow moving waters; it is typically found in marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow-moving areas of rivers. It can grow up to three feet tall above the water surface. When not in bloom, flowering rush is hard to distingish from native bur-reed.
How It Spreads
Flowering rush was intentionally brought to North America as an ornamental plant. From the intentional plantings, it has been moved to new locations unintentionally by muskrat, waterfowl, and boater movement. Viable pieces of the plant can also be transported by movement of water and ice.
Impacts to Rivers
Flowering rush can quickly colonize a disturbed area, which gives it an advantage over native plant species in ecosystems that have repetitive disturbances. Once it has established, flowering rush tends to form large stands that can impede boat traffic and outcompete native plants. In high densities, flowering rush has negative impacts on economically valuable wild rice and native species of willows and cattails.