gramandy's picture

Reedmace (or Bulrush?)

Observed: 10th January 2013 By: gramandy
Kent Wildlife TrustThanet Coast ProjectWildwood Trust
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Reedmace (or Bulrush?)

Only included this because as a kid - I used to call this Bulrush which doesn't look like this at all. I'm not sure whether this is greater or lesser but I'm plumping for greater. Who else used to know this as Bulrush - come on own up? Here's one for you Rachy - It's not a shrub but it should provoke a good debate maybe.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Greater Reedmace (Typha latifolia) interacts


landgirl's picture


I admit to calling this Bulrush, although I do know the correct name. I suppose that's why we use scientific names!

Peadar na Breac's picture


I admit but I was young and foolish with my whole life ahead of me. But... I never ever called a Field mouse a 'Wood mouse' No No No NO No! That would be just too too much.Poor little Apodemus sylvaticus, how could anyone do such a thing!
Que Sparks

Amadan's picture

They were "bullrushes" to me -

As a child in South Derbyshire in the 1950s. I suspect the origin of the name may have been a religious connection - trying to make bible stories more relevant to us kids.
Dunnocks, were, of course, Hedge Sparrows...

gramandy's picture

anyone from....

iSpot - can you explain why iSpot insists on changing the name to Bulrush when it is quite clearly not?

Rachy Ramone's picture

Reed Mace! Reed Mace!

*tears hair out* (only joking!)

Look, it's clearly a "mace", something for hitting people with!

Superficial internet research comes up with this:

"All down to a well known Bible picture, that I had in my first Bible, entitled "Moses in the Bulrushes" with Reed-mace clearly shown.

I was told that when the artist did the picture it looked boring and so added the Reed-mace, and people just assumed that the reed-mace was a bulrush."

But as the contributor says, he is unable to confirm it. If you type, in quotes, "moses in the bullrushes" into google, then click on "images" you will indeed see lots of reed mace.

Graham, it's a bit hard to spot the differentiating characteristic (if there is such a phrase) from the photo, but the general stoutness of the mace part does indeed suggest T. latifolia.

In case anyone is interested, latifolia has the fluffy yellow male flowers directly above the cigar-shaped brown female part.

T. angustifolia, Lesser Reedmace (or Lesser Bulrush as some books, [Rose]annoyingly label it) has a distinct gap between the top of the brown female cigar-part, and the bottom of the fluffy male part.

Simple, huh?!

As a general botanical guideline, angustifolia means "narrow", here referring to both the leaves and the cigars being narrower than that of T. latifolia.

*walks off, muttering "reed mace, reed mace" under breath*

Rachy Ramone

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