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common name for members of the Cyperaceae, a family of grasslike and rushlike herbs found in all parts of the world, especially in marshes of subarctic and temperate zones.
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(Scirpus), a genus of perennial, rarely annual, plants of the family Cyperaceae. The flowers are bisexual, in spikelets, gathered into umbrelled paniculate or capitate inflorescences. There are usually six perianth bristles; however, sometimes they are absent. There are two or three stigmas. More than 250 species are found throughout the world. In the USSR there are approximately 20 species, growing in damp places and in water. The great bulrush (Scirpus lacustris), which often makes up vast thickets, forms peat. Its stalks, measuring up to 2.5 m in height, are used to weave various articles. They are also used as material for packing, heat insulation, and construction. The stalks are eaten by muskrats and water rats. The species S. sylvaticus is fed as hay to cattle; its young shoots are a favorite food of deer. The species S. gracilis (native to India) and S. prolifer (native to Africa and Australia) are cultivated as ornamentals. The genera Holoschoenus and Dichostylis, which are distributed in the moderately warm regions of Eurasia, are sometimes considered as the genus Scirpus. Plants of the genus Phragmites of the family Gramineae are often incorrectly called bulrush.
T. V. EGOROVA