Bolboschoenus maritimus Herbaceous Alliance
Salt marsh bulrush marshes

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormHerb
  • Elevation0-2500 m
  • State RarityS3
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionCAN: MB, ON, SK. USA: CA, CO, ID, IL, MI, MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, NY, OR, SD, WA, WY (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Bolboschoenus maritimus is dominant or co-dominant in the herbaceous layer with Agrostis stolonifera, Argentina egedii, Atriplex prostrata, Bolboschoenus robustus, Chenopodium foliosum, Cotula coronopifolia, Cuscuta salina, Distichlis spicata, Eleocharis macrostachya, Lemna minuta, Sarcocornia pacifica, Sesuvium verrucosum, Spergularia salina and Typha latifolia.

Vegetation Layers

Herbs < 1.5 m; cover is intermittent to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Bolboschoenus maritimus > 50% relative cover in the herbaceous layer (Keeler-Wolf and Vaghti 2000, Klein et al. 2015, Buck-Diaz et al. 2021, Sikes et al. 2021).
  • Bolboschoenus maritimus or B. robustus > 50% relative cover in the herbaceous layer, or > 30% relative cover with Sarcocornia (=Salicornia) pacifica (Buck-Diaz et al. 2021, Sikes et al. 2021, Sikes et al. 2023).


Seasonally flooded mudflats; tidal brackish marshes. The USACE Wetland Inventory (2018 national list) recognizes Schoenoplectus maritimus as an OBL plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Bulrush series, Bulrush-cattail series
NVCS (2009) Schoenoplectus maritimus semipermanently flooded herbaceous alliance
Calveg Tule-Cattail
Holland Coastal brackish marsh
Munz Coastal salt marsh
WHR Saline emergent wetland
CDFW CA Code 52.112.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Shrub and Herb Vegetation (Shrubland and Grassland)
Formation Subclass Temperate and Boreal Shrubland and Grassland
Formation Temperate and Boreal Salt Marsh
Division Temperate and Boreal Pacific Coastal Salt Marsh
Macro Group North American Pacific Coastal Salt Marsh
Group Temperate Pacific tidal salt and brackish meadow