Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Chairmaker's Rush

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Scirpus pungens (Schoenoplectus pungens)

    COMMON NAMES: Chairmaker's Rush. Three-square, Common Three-square, American Three-square, American Bulrush, Three-square Bulrush, Common Three-square, Sharp Clubrush, Basket Grass, Lakeshore Bulrush

    BLOOM TIME: June, July, Aug, Sep, Oct


    • 2-4 ft. tall with erect stem, 1-5 arching leaves, & sharply 3 angled.
    • Spikelets are red orange & appear bristly.
    • Habitat: full or partial sun, wet conditions in water up to 6 in, deep.
    • Stems were used in construction of seats for wooden chairs.


    • Insects that feed on plant include¬†a leaf beetle & the culm-boring larvae of three Crambid moths.
    • The seeds/seedheads of this plant are an important source of food for many wetland birds, including ducks, geese, rails, & some granivorous songbirds.
    • Like cattails & bulrushes this plant provides suitable cover, foraging, & nesting habitat for wetland birds including Marsh Wren, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Canvasback, Ruddy Duck, American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, Common Moorhen, & Wilson's Snipe.
    • Muskrats feed on the rootstocks & aerial stems of these plants.