One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large bulrush that is abundant in marshy areas of California.
Genus Scirpus, family Cyperaceae: two species, S. acutus and S. validus
- ‘Digging deeper, he would have found long-dormant seeds of marsh sedges and the sleeping rhizomes of tules and cattails.’
- ‘The tule reeds might be ripped out, damaging the slough's filtration system.’
- ‘In my youth, this was a murky place filled with stands of tule reeds, bubbling pools of stagnant water and little streams that ran between islands of bushes and reeds.’
- ‘By late summer, it has dried almost entirely - nothing but weary, bent tules and polygonal cracks in sunbaked mud.’
- ‘Egrets, terns, mallards, pelicans, eagles, tundra swans, and herons browsed amid thickets of 10-foot-tall bulrushes known as tule (too-lee).’
Mid 19th century: via Spanish from Nahuatl tullin.
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