Schoenoplectus lacustris

Schoenoplectus lacustris

The Lakeshore bulrush (Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla 1888) is a semi-aquatic herbaceous species belonging to the Cyperaceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Magnoliophyta Division, Liliopsida Class, Cyperales Order, Cyperaceae Family and therefore to the Genus Schoenoplectus and to the S. lacustris Species.
Basionimo is the term:
– Scirpus lacustris L.
The terms are synonymous:
– Schoenoplectus philippii (Tineo) Pignatti;
– Scirpus philippii Tineo.

Etymology –
The term Schoenoplectus comes from the Greek σχοινός schoinós rush (latinized in schoenus) and from πλεκτός plectόs twisted, twisted, intertwined: twisted rush.
The specific epithet lacustris comes from lacus lago: lacustrine, lake or ponds.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Lakeshore bulrush is a plant with cosmopolitan diffusion and present in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Central America and Polynesia.
In Italy it is common, present throughout the peninsula and in the islands.
Its habitat is that of the banks of rivers, lakes and ponds, in swamps, on the banks of canals and ditches, with an altitude distribution from 0 to 900 m. s.l.m ..

Description –
Schoenoplectus lacustris is a helophyte species with submerged base and perennial buds, but with aerial stem and leaves.
It has a large perennial rhizome, with creeping roots, branched in a dense network that contributes to the consolidation of the soil.
The stems are erect, with a dark green color, and up to 3 m high. their section is cylindrical and they are filled with a spongy marrow.
The leaves are short, linear, sheathed.
The flowers are hermaphroditic and come together in a terminal flowerhead inflorescence, consisting of small red-brownish spikes.
The spikes are fusiform to ovate 5-10 mm long, with smooth glumes, 3 stigmas.
It blooms from June to August and pollination is anemocora.
The fruits are fusiform achenes measuring 1.8-3 x 1.5-2.2 mm, with trigonal section, yellowish when young then gray-blackish, perigonial silks less than or equal to the achenium

Cultivation –
The Lakeshore bulrush is a plant indifferent to the substrate, it is commonly found from the basal to the mountain plane in still or slow waters, both oligotrophic and eutrophic.
However, it prefers full sun and resists very cold temperatures.

Customs and Traditions –
Schoenoplectus lacustris is similar to Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, the latter is distinguished by having wrinkled glumes, ovary with 2 stigmas and biconvex achene. Both are distinguished from other Schoenoplectus by the cylindrical stem instead of trine at the top.
In the past the stems of this plant were used to make ropes (hence, as mentioned, the meaning of the Greek word schoenus) and mats.
It also has a high water purification efficacy, optimal both for ponds and bio-pools, and for phyto-purification plants.
Furthermore, it should be considered that the growth of this plant is slower than the other more common plants for phytoremediation.

Preparation Method –
The Lakeshore bulrush is a plant that has no interest in food but which, nowadays, can play an important role in phytodepuration and water for reuse in agriculture.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; we therefore decline all responsibility for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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