Flowering Rush is an alien growing on muddy shores along the St. Lawrence Seaway and it has spread to Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes and beyond. It's a Eurasian species brought here as an ornamental in the early 1900's, and it continues to spread from Vermont to Washington and adjacent Canada.
The flowers are rather attractive with three pink and white petals alternating with three smaller pink sepals. In the center are nine pink-and-white male stamens in a radial pattern around six magenta female pistils.
Like all invasive species, it competes with desirable native wetland species, and once started, Flowering Rush is hard to irradicate because the trailing rhizomes spread under the mud and pea-sized bulbils detach, disperse in the water and quickly germinate into new plants. Varieties of this plant growing in the east also produce seeds that can spread on water currents.
There are many desirable native substitutes for Flowering Rush, including Sweet-flag, Northern Blue-flag, Pickerelweed, Giant Bur-reed, Lake Sedge, and Hardstem Bulrush. Blue-flag and Pickerelweed are attractive personal favorites.
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