River Bulrush in Winter

by Carl Strang

Today I have one final winter botany chapter to shake out of the bag. River bulrush has had two years of good growth in the stream corridor marsh at Mayslake Forest Preserve.

Many stems protrude through the ice in this winter scene.

Many stems protrude through the ice in this winter scene.

This is a curious rush, as it mainly grows vegetatively. I have not yet seen it flowering. In winter the thick but soft, triangular stems are strong enough to remain standing.

The snow did not drive them down.

The snow did not drive them down.

Here a single stem retains some leaf bases.

Here a single stem retains some leaf bases.

That marsh filled with water over the winter, and to the extent that it retains that water, the river bulrush will be inhibited from a similar amount of growth this year.

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