Eleocharis sphacelata R.Br.

Tall Spike Rush

Perennial aquatic plant to 5 m tall with a thick rhizome. Stems cylindrical, partitioned, 0.5-1 cm wide. Spikelet cylindrical, tapered 3-5 cm long; spring to summer. Nut lens-shaped. A large plant growing naturally in permanent wetland.

All Australian states, New Guinea

An ornamental species used in dams and ponds and valued by wildlife; can grow rapidly in summer.


Several other species are cultivated including

E. acuta R. Br., Common Spike Rush from Victoria, New Zealand and New Guinea which grows well in seasonal wetland.

E. dulcis (Burm. f.) Henschel is sometimes cultivated for the water chestnuts. It comes from China where it is grown in flooded fields.

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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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Cyperaceae
genus        Eleocharis R.Br.