Schoenoplectus subulatus: Awl club-rush

Family: Cyperaceae
Common name: Awl club rush, Awl club-rush

Awl club rushes belong to a large family of soft-stemmed, grass-like reedy perennials found all over the world in wet, marshy, or water-logged areas. They are also called sedges, with over 5000 species belonging to the family Cyperaceae.

These plants usually grow in wetlands, marshes, and swamps, often in dense colonies. They are known for their slender, erect stems that can grow up to 150cm tall and needle-like leaves that are typically green in color.

Awl club rushes have a complex root system that is important for their survival in wetland habitats. Roots are thick and fibrous and can spread out in all directions, providing the plant with stability and anchoring it to the ground.

The stems of the plant are hollow but strong, which helps to support the weight of the leaves and flowers. The leaves of the Awl club rushes are typically around 25-30 cm in length, thin and narrow, resembling needles.

They can be either smooth or slightly rough to the touch. The plant produces abundant flowers in late spring to early summer, which are small and brown in color.

The flowers are borne in clusters, arranged in spikelets that are about 1 cm long. Awl club rush plants also produce nuts that are brown, smooth, and shiny, about 2mm long.

These plants are found in tropical and temperate climates in India, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka growing along lakes, rivers, coastal areas, swamps, as well as waterlogged areas.

Awl club rushes have been used for medicinal purposes by Indigenous people for many years because of their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are used in the treatment of wounds, inflammation, fever, headache, and digestive problems.

Propagation is through seeds and roots stolons.