|Butomus umbellatus subsp. var.|
genus in the monogenetic plant family Butomaceae, containing the single species Butomus umbellatus, also known as flowering rush or grass rush.
The plant is a rhizomatous, hairless, perennial aquatic plant. Its name is derived from Greek bous, meaning "cow", "ox" etc and tome, a cut (the verb 'temnein' meaning "to cut"), which refers to the plant's swordlike leaves.
Other than suggested by its English common name, it is not a true rush. It is native to Eurasia and grows on the margins of still and slowly moving water down to a depth of about 3 m. It has pink flowers. Introduced into North America as an ornamental plant it has now become a serious invasive weed in the Great Lakes area. In Israel, one of its native countries, it is an endangered species due to the dwindling of its habitat. It can also be found in Great Britain locally, for example Butomus umbellatus at Caldicot and Wentloog Levels otherwise known as Gwent Levels SSSI
The plant has linear, pointed leaves up to 1 metre long, or more. The leaves are triangular in cross-section and arise in two rows along the rhizome/base. They are untoothed, parallel veined and twisted.
The inflorescence is umbel-like consisting of a single terminal flower surrounded by three cymes. The flowers are regular and bisexual, 2 to 3 cm across. There are three petal-like sepals which are pink with darker veins. They persist in the fruit. The three petals are like the sepals but somewhat larger. 6 - 9 stamens. Carpels superior, 6 - 9 and slightly united at the base. When ripe they are obovoid and crowned with a persistent style. Ovules are numerous and found scattered over the inner surface of the carpel wall, except on the midrib and edges. Fruit is a follicle. The seeds have no endosperm and a straight embryo. It flowers from July until September.
Frequently cultivated as an attractive ornamental plant. In parts of Russia the rhizomes are used as food.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Butomus umbellatus, Linn. Flowering Rush. Rhizome thick: Lvs. 2-3 ft. long, iris-like, sheathing at the base, 3-cornered: fls. rose-colored, 25-30 in an umbel, on a long scape; sepals 3; petals 3. Summer. Eu., Asia, in still water. Prop, by division.
Pests and diseases
- ↑ Natural World Magazine, Spring 2009, The Wildlife Trust, published by Think publishing
- ↑ Rose, Francis (2006). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 480-481. ISBN 978-0723251750.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963