Great reedmace


Stuart Edmunds

Great reedmace

Scientific name: Typha latifoli
Great reedmace is familiar to many of us as the archetypal 'bulrush'. Look for its tall stems, sausage-like, brown flower heads and green, flat leaves at the water's edge in our wetland habitats.

Species information


Height: up to 2m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Great reedmace, also know known as 'bulrush', is a familiar plant of freshwater margins, such as the edges of ponds, lakes, ditches and rivers. Its impressive stance - with long leaves and tall stems - makes it stand out from other wetlands plants. Its sausage-like flower heads are unmistakeable; these appear from June to August, but the plant persists through the winter, often dying back to a brownish colour from its usual green.

How to identify

Great reedmace has tall stems bearing cylindrical, brown flower heads that are topped by a spire of smaller, male flowers. It also has long, wide, grey-green leaves.


Grows everywhere in the UK, but rarer in the north of Scotland.

Did you know?

In common with common Club-rush, great reedmace is also known as 'bulrush', but is perhaps the plant that this name is most likely to invoke.