Scirpus california

Habitat: fresh water marsh

Value to Environment: This plant is important to the environment. It's biologicaly important because it is an indicator species of a wetlands. Wetlands are natural biofilters. They can filter incredible amounts of pollutants out of a watershed. The Bulrush is one of the plants in the wetlands that is a vital to the protection of water quality from polluted runoff. The bulrush and the microorganisms which live in its roots remove excessive nutrients from the water. Excess nutrients are a pollutant responsible for the death of many fish in rivers.

Importance to Man: Native Americans used it as a thatch for making houses and weaving mats. Because they are very nutritious, they were an important food for the Native Americans. The pioneers used their leaves to make cane furniture.

Young bulrush can be peeled and eaten raw. The rhizomes can be boiled, baked, steamed or roasted. The seeds can be ground for flour.