Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) is an invasive aquatic plant that was probably brought to North American as a water garden ornamental or through the shipping industry. It is an aggressive plant that invades wetlands, displaces native species, creates a dense stand and decreases the water quality improvement and water storage functions of a wetland. When disturbed, it spreads from the roots as fragments drift to other locations with the current.

Flowering rush is difficult to control so the most effective removal occurs when the plant and infestation is small.

Image of flowering rush growing near a body of water

How to identify flowering rush

Flowering rush closeup

Flowering rush grows in shallow water and on or near wetland, lakes and rivers.

  • Upright stem
  • May grow to over a metre tall
  • Leaves are sword-shaped
  • Umbrella-shaped cluster of 20-50 light pink to rose-coloured flowers located at the top of the plant

If you see flowering rush in your garden, remove it immediately. Dispose of it by putting it in the waste bin in a doubled garbage bag. If you see it elsewhere, please call Transportation and Agriculture Services at 780-417-7100.   


Prevention is the most important management option for flowering rush.

  • If you see flowering rush in your garden, remove it immediately
  • Never let water gardens overflow into wetlands, streams or rivers
  • Non-native water gardens or aquariums should never be dumped into natural water bodies
  • Exercise caution when purchasing plants for use in backyard water features
  • Clean and remove any aquatic plants from watercraft, trailers and fishing equipment

Further information:

County Connect

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Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Page ID: 49195