discover the fragrant flowered rush, an aquatic plant with perfumed blossoms. delight in the exquisite scent of its blossoms as they adorn your aquatic garden.

Fragrant Flowered Rush, an Aquatic Plant with Perfumed Blossoms

GardenBy Jun 25, 2024

Fragrant Flowered Rush: An Aquatic Plant with Perfumed Blossoms

Fragrant Flowered Rush, scientifically known as Butomus umbellatus, is a captivating aquatic perennial plant that originates from Eurasia. It thrives naturally along the banks of slow-moving water bodies, in shallow stagnant waters or alkaline and nutrient-rich ditches. With its excellent cold hardiness (-15 to -17°C), Fragrant Flowered Rush can be cultivated in various regions.

Despite its easy cultivation, Fragrant Flowered Rush is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in France. However, it is considered “nearly threatened” in certain regions such as Aquitaine, Auvergne, Normandie, Bretagne, “vulnerable” in Midi-Pyrénées, Ile de France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and “endangered” in Rhône-Alpes. Interestingly, Fragrant Flowered Rush is considered an invasive species in North America.

A Beautiful Perennial Rhizomatous Plant

Fragrant Flowered Rush is a rhizomatous perennial plant that slowly spreads but is not overly invasive. It features deciduous grass-like leaves that emerge from the base, giving it a tufted appearance. The leaves are slender (approximately 1 cm wide) and can grow up to 1 meter in length, with a triangular sheathed base. Initially green, the leaves transition to bronze-purple and eventually turn dark green upon elongation. The leaves are sharp and were named after their ability to cut, as “Butomus” originates from the Greek words “bous” meaning “ox” and “temno” meaning “to cut”. The plant’s submerged ribbon-shaped leaves serve as habitats for various wild creatures like tadpoles, newt eggs, and frogs.

Exquisite Fragrant Blossoms

Fragrant Flowered Rush blooms from June to September, producing beautiful fragrant flowers that are a delight to the senses. The flowers are cup-shaped, approximately 1 to 3 cm in diameter, and range in color from pink to light rose. They are held aloft by long, rigid stalks and have striking carmine stamens. These blossoms attract pollinating insects during the summer months.

Optimal Growing Conditions

Fragrant Flowered Rush is an aquatic plant that thrives in clayey to loamy soils. Ideally, it should be planted in rich, deep, compact, and consistently moist or even waterlogged soil, submerged to a depth of 15 to 30 cm. It can tolerate full sun or partial shade.

Planting and Care

Fragrant Flowered Rush can be propagated through seed sowing, division of rhizomes, or transplanting bulbils. Seeds should be sown in a semi-submerged pot during the summer, covered with 1 cm of water once germinated. It is recommended to seek expert advice for proper seed germination, unless you have access to spontaneous seedlings for transplantation.

Dividing the rhizomes is typically done in spring or autumn, while clump division and bulbil retrieval can also be done during these seasons. When planting, the water temperature should be between 12 to 25°C. Fragrant Flowered Rush can be planted in baskets or directly in the soil, submerged to a depth of 20 to 30 cm. Adding compost around the roots during planting can be beneficial.

Maintenance and Pest Control

Fragrant Flowered Rush requires constant immersion in water, ensuring that the plant remains hydrated at the base. It is advisable to remove faded flowers to encourage new blooms. Regular division and ample spacing will promote healthy growth and flowering. Fragrant Flowered Rush is resistant to diseases and pests, although it may attract waterlily aphids.

Ideal Placement and Complementary Plants

Fragrant Flowered Rush thrives along the edges of natural ponds, marshes, or streams, ideally submerged in water. It can also be grown in containers on terraces, as long as they have sufficient water supply. This aquatic plant enhances the aesthetic appeal of water gardens and attracts diverse pollinators, primarily butterflies.

Popular Varieties

The Butomus genus consists of a single species, Butomus umbellatus. However, there are some cultivars available, such as Butomus umbellatus ‘Schneeweisschen’, which features white flowers and slightly shorter height (0.80 to 1 meter), and Butomus umbellatus ‘Rosenrot’, which boasts deep pink blooms.

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I'm Jennifer. My hands are often covered in soil, and my heart is full of passion for nature. Through my writings, I share my personal gardening journeys, tips, and the joy of cultivating both plants and a community of fellow garden lovers. Every plant I grow adds a story to my life, and I love sharing those tales with my readers.