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see sedgesedge,
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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a grasslike cyperaceous marsh plant, Scirpus lacustris, used for making mats, chair seats, etc.
2. a popular name for reed mace (sense 1): the name derived from Alma-Tadema's painting of the finding of the infant Moses in the "bulrushes" — actually reed mace
3. a biblical word for papyrus (the plant)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Like Pharaoh he ruled all he surveyed, I soon came to feel, but bullrushes were in short supply.
Farther down the lane, nearly opposite the asylum, there was a smaller pool, where we waded for bullrushes."
We also spotted a family of elephants feeding in the bullrushes. A whole herd then walked along the riverbank in front of us.
The original mere has been lovingly restored by the fishery owner to create a water surrounded by mature trees, plenty of bankside bushes, reeds, bullrushes and specially planted weed beds.
From a short distance one can watch its opaque waters reflect the sparse bullrushes and isolated island tree while a murmuring breeze barely ripples the surface.
The peace and quiet is like another world, with all the reeds and bullrushes.
To the north of the shared driveway is a further informal garden area with mature trees and a substantial established pond with water lilies and bullrushes.
The voices and the barking seemed to be coming nearer so Jack helped me down the bank and out into the river, the water above our waists, and we hid in the bullrushes.
And he has worked hard to create a pleasant water surrounded by mature trees, plenty of bankside bushes, reeds, bullrushes and specially planted weed beds.
MAGNIFICENT: A George Jones Majolica jardiniere on stand, with swans swimming among bullrushes and lotus blossoms.
rostrata) are ideal around the pond, but avoid bullrushes which will take over.