Plants and Animals

Scirpus georgianus Georgia bulrush

Key Characteristics

Perennial wetland bulrush sedge of the Lower Peninsula that occurs in small clumps or solitary; rhizomes short, not creeping; stem obtusely 3-angled; leaf sheath all green; leaves 6 to 10 per stem and keeled; scales with green, narrow midrib; styles 3-cleft; perianth bristles, which are the most distinguishing characteristics from other Scirpus spp., mostly straight, numbering less than 4 and much shorter than achenes.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: SNR - Not ranked


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien 1 1996
Leelanau 1 1986
Saginaw 1 1986

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in shorelines, open marsh, and wet meadow. Found in wet, sandy to clay soil, usually in full sun. In other parts of its range it has been found in open swales of oak forests and eroded clayey slopes.

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Red maple (Acer rubrum), Iris (Iris sp.), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), goldenrod (Solidago sp.), and ironweed (Vernonia sp.).

Management Recommendations

Recently segregated from the widespread Scirpus atrovirens, this species may be overlooked and therefore warrants a status survey in the Lower Peninsula. Protect habitat and maintain wetland hydrology and natural cycle of fluctuations. Periodic natural drawdowns due to low water levels may replenish seed bank. Agricultural run-off has negative impacts. Nutrient pollution should be minimized. Control invasive species, particularly Phragmites.

Survey Methods

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From first week of June to third week of September


Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Alexander, W.P., and H. Doliver. 1927. Flora of the Allegany State Park Region. The University of the State of New York, Albany, NY, USA. 225 pp.
  • Bingham, M.T. 1945. The Flora of Oakland County, Michigan. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA. 155 pp.
  • Deam, C.C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. 1236 pp.
  • Edgin, B., J. Shimp, D. Allen, J. Cawn, W.E. Mcclain, and J.E. Ebinger. 2004. Vascular Flora of Gray’s Post Oak Woodland, Saline County, Illinois. Southeastern Naturalist 3: 733–744.
  • Edgin, B.R., R. Beadles, and J.E. Ebinger. 2005. Vascular Flora of Beadles Barrens Nature Preserve, Edwards County, Illinois. Castanea 70: 47–58.
  • Feist, M.A., M. Morris, L.R. Phillippe, and J.E. Ebinger. 2008. Sand Prairie Communities of Matanzas Nature Preserve, Mason County, Illinois. Castanea 73: 177–187.
  • Ganger, A., T. Michael, A. Ephraim, and K. James. 2016. The vascular plant flora and plant gancommunities of Erie Bluffs State Park, Erie County, Pennsylvania. Rhodora 118: 148–188.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Mohlenbrock, R.H., and J.W. Voigt. 1959. A flora of southern Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, Illinois, USA. 390 pp.
  • Tucker, G.C., B. Edgin, N.L. Owens, and J.E. Ebinger. 2008. Botanical survey of Wildcat Hollow State Forest, Effingham County, Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 101: 167–185.
  • Tucker, G.C., B. Edgin, S.C. Jones, and J.E. Ebinger. 2009. Botanical inventory of Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Jasper County, Illinois. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science 118: 120–133.
  • Voss, E.G., and A.A. Reznicek. 2012. Field Manual of Michigan Flora. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 1008 pp.
  • Whittemore, A.T., and A.E. Schuyler. 2002. Scirpus. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 23, pp. 5–15. Available at: