Butomus Umbellatus (Flowering Rush)
Also known more commonly by its name ‘Flowering Rush’, this plant is one of the most striking perennial marginal plants. With its rich, narrow green leaves and umbels of many pink flowers which cluster on top of its 90cm long stems during the summer months of July and August, its not surprising that this gorgeous plant has won the ‘RHS Award of Garden Merit’, or (AGM) for short. Its popularity not only for its beauty but for it cleverness in attracting bees and hoverflies to its nectar laden flowers. Butomus thrive in full sun and are categorised as shallow marginal plants, but will grow just as well in saturated ground or boggy conditions. Like many other marginal plants, Botumus are heavy nutrient feeders so are a good choice for planting into filtration beds and swimming ponds.
Butomus grows from small rhizomes and will put on the best display of flowers when planted straight into natural clay or muddy edged ponds, where they will quickly spread into established colonies and clumps. They will also do well when multi-planted into 23cm round Aquatic Baskets which are ideal as there are no corners to restrict growth. Butomus will stop flowering if they are pot bound! If this happens, simply split the plants in the spring and when re-planting and always plant the cut end of the rhizome against the edge of the Aquatic Basket with the growing tip facing inwards for maximum room to grow.
There are only a few cultivars of this species. Butomus Rosenrot has darker pink flowers than the wild species and Butomus Schneeweibchen has almost white flowers with just a tint of pink and will grow taller up to a height of 120cm.