Eleocharis R.Br.

Spike Rushes

Greek heleos – marsh, chairo – I delight in.

Tufted or rhizomatous herbs. Stems cylindrical or angled. Leaves reduced to a membranous sheath or small point. Inflorescence a single spikelet without bracts and with spirally arranged glumes each containing a flower. Fruit a nut with a persistent style base.

Grown as waterside plants, often to encourage wildlife in indigenous plant projects, farm dams and ponds.

Seed and division.

A few species are used for matting and craft material; E. dulcis is the Chinese Water Chestnut.

Flower spikes without a basal bract; fruits with persistent style bases.

About 200 cosmopolitan species usually of wet habitats and with a centre of distribution in subtropical America (Australia has about 30 species of which about 10 are endemic).

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Cyperaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Cyperaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Eleocharis sphacelata R.Br.