Schoenoplectiella juncoides

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Kaluhā

Hawaiian Names

  • Kaluha

Common Names

  • Rock bulrush


  • Schoenoplectus juncoides
  • Scirpus juncoides
  • Scirpus rockii

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Grass-like, Tall, Greater than or equal to 2.5

Mature Size, Width

Kaluhā form 1-foot wide clumps.

Life Span

Short lived (Less than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Ground Cover
  • Water Features

Additional Landscape Use Information

This attractive rush can be grown in water features or in pots with good moisture and good sunlight. A great plant for soggy areas in the landscape where most other plants would perish.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Brownish
  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

Kaluhā have 2 to 10 spikelets with pale yellowish brown diminutive flowers.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Additional Plant Texture Information

The round leaves range from 5 to nearly 30 inches long.

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Kaluhā have pale green leaves.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Kaluhā is prone to ants, scale, mealy bugs and aphids.

leaf Growth Requirements


In containers that hold water, some fertilizers are appreciated but be cautious of too much nitrogen which can produce green algae, especially during the summer months. None necessary in large water features. In large ponds kaluhā will get nutrient needs from the water habitat it grows in. Never apply fertilizer in natural wetlands sites. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

Little required except to trim spent stalks.

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

Kaluhā grows in both moist and wet conditions, and even with roots submerged in water.

Possibly brackish water tolerant. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Spacing Information

Plant kaluhā in clumps of about a foot apart. They will spread by rhizomes.

When stalks get naturally heavy with seeds or when replanting to a new location, many of the stalks tend to flop over. This can also happen in heavy rain downpours. This is natural. New stalks will grow straight up and display their yellow, green and brown seed heads. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]


  • Waterlogged Soil


  • Cinder
  • Organic


Does not seem to do well with other competative sedges such as makaloa (Cyperus laevigatus). [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 150 to 1000, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 1000 to 1999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 2000 to 2999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 3000 to 3999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 4000 to 4999, Greater than 100 (Wet)

Additional Habitat Information

In the Hawaiian Islands, kaluhā is naturally found only on Kauaʻi, and apparently collected once on Hawaiʻi Island (Kohala Mts.). It is found at high elevations occurring in and around bogs, pond margins, and in wet forest from 600 to 4,500 feet.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Kaluhā belong to the rush genus Schoenoplectiella in the Sedge family (Cyperaceae) with 27 species worldwide. [2]

Rush or Sedge? Though rushes and sedge belong to the same family (Cyperaceae), there is a simple way to distinguish one from another: the stem-like leaves (culms). Rushes have round, cylindrical stems or leaves, sometimes hollow like a drinking straw if cut open. Sedges have triangular, often sharp-edged leaves. Just remember: "rushes are round; sedges have edges."

Kaluhā somewhat resembles makaloa (Cyperus laevigatus), especially when the seed head (perianth) is in the younger stages. But plants are readily distinguished by the overall larger size of seed head and the accompanying bristles.

This genus name for this sedge has recently changed. [1]


The generic name Schoenoplectiella is from the Greek schoinos, rush, and plektos, plaited or twisted. The suffix -iella denotes small or duminutive, perhaps because it resembles a small Schoenoplectus.

The specific epithet juncoides, resembling Juncus, a non-native rush in the Juncaceae or Rush family.

Additional References

[1] The International Plant Names Index, (accessed 9/1/08)

[2] [accessed 10/19/09]

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