Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Common Bur Reed

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spargamium eurycarpum

    COMMON NAMES: Common Bur Reed, Great Bur Reed, Giant Bur-reed, Broadfruit Bur-reed

    BLOOM TIME: June, July, Aug


    • Tufted sedge 2-6 ft. tall, erect & unbranched.
    • Upper leaves 1-5 in. long, may be rough.
    • Flowers are green spikes, crowded into an elongated head 6 in. long; contains 5-15 spikes.
    • Habitat; short roots form clumps in dry to wet forests & weed edges with partial shade.
    • Occasional found in Illinois.


    • Insect feeders include several leaf beetles, Water Lily Aphid, Cattail Billbug, larvae of the Bur-reed Borer Moth.  
    • Seeds consumed by various wetland birds, especially ducks including Wood Duck, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Sandhill Crane, American Coot, & King Rail.
    • Muskrats consume the entire plant.
    • Foliage sometimes browsed by White-tailed Deer.