Page author: Don Knoke
Trichophorum cespitosum
tufted clubrush

Distribution: Circumboreal, extending south in North America chiefly west of the Cascades to central Oregon; also in North Carolina, Utah and Idaho.

Habitat: Sphagnum bogs, marshes, and other very wet places.

Flowers: July - August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Densely tufted, herbaceous perennials from short rhizomes, the culms 1-4 dm. tall, smooth, sub-terete, with several light brown scales at the base.


Usually a single leaf near the base with a typical sheath but the blade only 4-6 mm. long, slender.


Inflorescence a solitary, terminal spikelet, 4-6 mm. long, light brown, several-flowered, with only 2-3 empty scales at the base, the lowest scale with a broad, blunt awn 1-3 mm. long; perianth of 6 bristles, all white or with a brown tip, not exceeding the scale; stamens 3; style trifid.


Achenes triangular, 1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Trichophorum cespitosum (L.) Schur
Publication: Verh. Mitth. Siebenb├╝rg. Vereins Naturwiss. Hermannstadt. 4: 78. 1853. 1853.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Baeothyron cespitosum (L.) A. Dietr.
Scirpus bracteatus Bigelow
Scirpus cespitosus L. [HC]
Scirpus cespitosus L. var. callosus Bigelow
Scirpus cespitosus L. var. delicatulus Fernald
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Trichophorum cespitosum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Trichophorum cespitosum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Trichophorum cespitosum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Trichophorum cespitosum photos.

USDA Plants: Trichophorum cespitosum information.

3 photographs:
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