Plant Guide > Grasses > Spike Rush

Spike Rush

Spike RushSPIKE-RUSH. (Eleocharis)

Shining, hair-like stems of Spike-rushes often cover the soil between clumps of coarser sedges, and in many places the Large Spike-rush occupies low ground by streams and ditches where its roots are sometimes under water.

The smallest species are but a few inches in height, but the largest Spike-rushes are occasionally five feet tall. All are similar in appearance and are very unlike other sedges.

The round or four-angled stems are slender, usually rather soft or weak, and grow closely together, and the leaves are reduced to basal sheaths tinged with reddish brown.

The flowers are always borne in a small, solitary spikelet which caps the stem, and in some species the spikelet is so narrow as to be no wider than the stem itself.

Under the lens a perianth of bristles is noticed, and the triangular or roundish seed is seen to be tipped with the persistent base of the style.

Slender Spike Rush