Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Wikipedia.


sedge, 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. The name sedge is also used specifically for species of the genus Carex of the same family. Sedges differ from true grasses in having solid, angular (usually triangular) stems. Most are perennial, reproducing by rhizomes. Some sedges are woven into mats and chair seats, and a few provide coarse hay. The pith of Cyperus papyrus was the source of the papyrus of ancient Egypt and other Mediterranean countries. Bulrushes, often called clubrushes, are sedges of the genus Scirpus; various other similar plants are also called bulrushes. The bulrushes in which the infant Moses was hidden (Ex. 2.8) were probably papyrus. The Oriental water chestnut (Eleocharis tuberosa) is cultivated extensively among the Chinese for its edible tubers. An unrelated Asian aquatic plant, Trapa natans, also called water chestnut (or water caltrop or hornnut) and sometimes also used for food, is now naturalized in the United States. Many genera of the sedge family have indigenous and abundant species in America. Sedge is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Cyperaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Water level affects growth of endangered northeastern bulrush, Scripus ancistrochaetus Schuyler.
When only common names have been used, the following may be encountered in the ethnographic sources--Flag or Cooper's Reed (`It is that species of reed of which the leaves are used by coopers for closing up crevices between the staves of their casks', Eyre 1845, vol 2, 62); Flag of the Cooper (Dawson 1881, 20); Cat's Tail Reed (Backhouse 1843, 531); Murray Down (`stuffing for pillows', Bailey 1909, 576); Loddon Down (Smyth 1878, vol 2, 160); Bulrush (many sources, see Appendix 2).
No more daydreaming, just wishful thinking, hoping the next flight of teal would swing around the bulrushes while I was at full responsiveness.
Fishing in Florida's luxuriant aquatic vegetation can be a challenge, whether it's deep and dense hydrilla, rafts of floating hyacinths, fields of dollar pads, tall stands of clutching maindencane, or gnarly bulrushes more than 10 feet tall.
Flyrodders will use sinking spiders that will draw strikes from the males and females protecting their fanned out bedsfound against seawalls, rock shorelines or tight against bulrush and other thick vegetation.
Some of the best bulrush zones aren't necessarily the most obvious--even if they're associated with a nearby sharp drop into deep open water.
Nicola Campbell, 32, of Bulrush Close, St Mellons, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to speeding.
During the summer, the apple snail's small pink eggs can be seen in clusters clinging to bulrush, maiden cane, pickerel weed, duck weed and aquatic grasses.
"In almost every lake where we've sampled crappies at night, major stands of hardstem bulrush have been the dominant habitat," Isermann says.
Jodie Georgeina Davis, 30, of Bulrush Close, St Mellons, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to shoplifting and was given a community order of 10 days in Lifelong Learning and ordered to pay pounds 50 costs.
Unless we're hit by a frigid cold front, the January full moon phase kicks off the bulk of the crappie spawning season, when the big females start schooling up in deeper water before moving into shallow grass lines, bulrush and other cover to deposit their eggs.
These rigs can be fished right in the creekmouths or worked along the bulrush and marsh grass that grows on the banks.