Wetlands/rushes

Asked September 28, 2020, 3:15 PM EDT

I have some small, soggy areas on my property. I'd like to plant rushes. What kinds are native to western Oregon?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

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There are several rushes native to our area. Here's a list of some of them. Tapertip Rush (Juncus acumenatus), Daggerleaf Rush (Juncus ensifolium), Slender rush (Juncus tenuis), Soft-stem bulrush (Schoenoplectas taberrae montani), Seacost Bulrush (Scipus maritimum), and Smalll-flowered Bulrush (Scirpus microcarpus). There's a description of each of them with pictures and growing conditions in a link from the Washington Native Plant Society called "Grasses, Sedges, Rushes". I couldn't get a direct link to the article, but if you search for "Grasses, Sedges and Rushes" you'll be able to find it.

There is also a group of Native rushes called Horsetails from the genus Equisetum. They are very interesting, having evolved at the time of ferns 350 million years ago; a very primitive group that reproduces by spores - like ferns. They can be very difficult to control, however. They spread by friable rhizomes, that easily break off and start new plants. If you plant Equisetum, corral them with a buried 2 foot barrier so they stay put. This article, Horse-Tail https://www.fws.gov/nwrs/threecolumn.aspx?id=2147585207 has more information.

There are other native plants for boggy soil. This article has additional ideas, PNW Native Plants for the Streamside Garden https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/flowers-shrubs-trees/pnw-native-plants-streamside-garden/