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Family Cyperaceae
Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla

Scientific names Common names
Eleogiton duvalii Fourr. Tiker (Ilk.)
Eleogiton lacustris (L.) Fourr. Common club-rush (Engl.)
Heleophylax lacustris (L.) Schinz. & Thell. Common tule (Engl.)
Hymenochaeta lacustris (L.) Nakai Matting rush (Engl.)
Hymenochaeta makinoi Nakai True bulrush (Engl.)
Schoenoplectus lacutris (L.) Palla
Schoenus lacutris (L.) Bernh.  
Scirpus andrzejowscii Besser ex. Schult.  
Scirpus barbulatus Kunth  
Scirpus brayi Hoppe ex Roem. & Schult.  
Scirpus ciliatus Steud.  
Scirpus custoris Hegetschw  
Scirpus drepanensis Lojac.  
Scirpus holoschoenus Oeder  
Scirpus janii Besser ex Schult.  
Scirpus jardinei Steud. & Jard.  
Scirpus lacustris L.  
Scirpus lithuanicus Besser ex Schult.  
Scirpus macrophyllus Besser ex Schult.  
Scirpus medius Gray  
Scirpus meyenii Nees  
Scirpus orgyalis Raf.  
Scirpus turgidus Thuill.  
Scirpus wolfgangii Besser ex Schult.  
Scirpus lacustris L. is a synonym of Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla The Plant List
Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla is an accepted name The Plant List

- Scirpus is Latin for bulrush, and lacustris refers to its normally lacustrine habitat.

Tiker is an aquatic herb with horizontal rhizomes. Stems are stout, 45 to 120 centimeters tall, often standing in water. Leaves vary greatly in size, some being hardly discernible, others growing to 10 centimeters or, when floating, reaching a length of 30 to 60 centimeters. Umbels are usually once or twice divided, 10 to 15 centimeters in diameter, and sometimes reduced almost to a small head. Spikelets are clustered and solitary, 10 to 12 millimeters long. Glumes are ovate. Bristles are as long as the nut or reduced. Nuts are obovoid, smooth and black.

- In fresh-water swamps, from sea level to 1,300 meters altitude in Luzon (Cagayan, Zambales, Benguet).
- Can grow in water one foot deep.
- Also found in most warm countries except Malaya and South America.

- Study evaluated root flavonoids of five Scirpus species, including S. lacustris. All tested species showed flavonoid compounds in their roots, with flavonoid sulphate, flavone C and C-/O-glycosides and aglycones. S. lacustris showed the highest number of total flavonoid compounds. Kaempferol was found only in S. lacustris and S. littoralis species. (5)
- Study isolated 49 secondary metabolites from aqueous and alcoholic extracts of aquatic plants Schoenoplectus lacustris. Eleven free and glycosylated low-molecular polyphenols, 17 cinnamic acid and dihydrocinnamic acid derivatives, 11 flavonoids, and 10 C13 nor-isoprenoids were identified. (see study below) (6)
- Study investigated the carbohydrate and protein content of rhizomes. (see study below) (7)

- Astringent, diuretic.
- Studies have shown antibacterial and bioremediative properties.

Parts used


- Roots and young shoots, raw or cooked.
- Raw buds of rhizomes are sweet and crisp.
- Seeds are ground and mixed with flour for making cakes.
- Rhizome used as astringent and diuretic.
- Papermaking / Crafts: Pith of stems used in paper making. Stems used for making matting, chair bottoms, thatching.
- Floats of reed:
In the long past, floats of reed used as swimming aid. Children used to learn how to swim using floats made of this material. (4)

Scirpus lacustris was one of five medicinal plants in a study of 10 herbs that showed significant antibacterial activity against Nocardia asteroides and N. brasiliensis. Potency of strong antibacterial activity of the methanol extracts was attributed to properties of flavonoids, saponins, and tannins. (1)
Bioremediation of Chromium: Study evaluated the potential of three plants viz., Scirpus lacustris, Phragmites karka, and Bacopa monnieri to accumulate chromium under laboratory conditions. Results showed the plants have the ability to accumulate substantial amounts of chromium. When plants were grown in tannery effluent and sludge, they caused significant reduction in chromium concentrations. (3)
• Phytotoxic Effects on Green Algae: Study of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of aquatic plant S. lacustris isolated 49 secondary metabolites. All compounds were tested on green alga Selenastrum capricornutum, a unicellular organism used in tests of toxicity as a bioindicator of eutrophic sites. The most active compound was (--)-catechin, with inhibition similar to algaecide CuSO4. (see constituents above) (6)
• Carbohydrate and Protein Metabolism in Rhizomes: The most important reserve substance in the rhizome is starch, which accounts for 15% of fresh weight in winter. Sucrose content of rhizomes reaches as high as 30 mg/g fresh weight in winter. Reducing sugars glucose, fructose, and maltose reach maximum values during the summer months (up to 5 mg/g for glucose and fructose). Protein content was found highest in winter, with values of about 10 mg/g fresh weight. (7)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated July 2018 / October 2016
May 2011

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Schoenoplectus lacustris, Hohenloher Land, Germany / Bernd Haynold / File:Schoenoplectus lacustris 260605.jpg / 26 July 2005/ CC BY 2.5 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Scirpus lacustris Linn. / Otto Wilhelm Thomé: Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz (1885) - Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber / Modifications by G. Stuart / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Evaluation of antibacterial properties and review of 10 medicinal herbs on preventing the growth of pathogenic Nocardia species / Eshraghi, S.; Amin, G.; Othari, A. / Journal of Medicinal Plants, 2009; Vol 8, No 32: pp 60-78
Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla / Synonyms / The Plant List
Bioremediation of Chromium from Water and Soil by Vascular Aquatic Plants / P. Chandra , S. Sinha , and U. N. Rai / Phytoremediation of Soil and Water Contaminants, Chapter 20, pp 274–282 / Chapter DOI: 10.1021/bk-1997-0664.ch020
Schoenoplectus lacustris / Ethnobiology / Edited by E. N. Anderson, Deboral Pearsall et al / Wiley Publishers
Root Flavonoids of Some Iranian Scirpus L. (Cyperaceae) Members. / Noori Mitra, Dehshiri Mohamed-Mehdi and Mehrdost Negar / International Journal of Botany, 2012; 8: pp 165-169 / DOI: 10.3923/ijb.2012.165.169 
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS OF THE AQUATIC PLANT Schoenoplectus lacustris: EVALUATION OF PHYTOTOXIC EFFECTS ON THE GREEN ALGA Selenastrum capricornutum / Brigida D' Abrosca, Marina Dellagreca, Antonio Fiorentino, Marina Isidori, Pietro Monaco, and Severina Pacifico / Journal of Chemical Ecology, January 2006; Vol 32, No. 1 / DOI: 10.1007/s10886-006-9354-y
Carbohydrate and protein metabolism in the rhizomes of the bulrush (Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) palla in relation to natural development of the whole plant / Fritz Steinmann, Roland Bränle / Aquatic Botany, August 1884; Vol 19, Issues 1-2: pp 53-63 / https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-3770(84)90007-X

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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