Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Eleocharis engelmannii
Engelman spikerush

Distribution: Widespread in the northern hemisphere; found throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Habitat: Marshes and other wet places, from sea level to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June - September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted annual, 0.5-5 dm. tall, the culms 0.5-2 mm. thick, with many ribs.


Leaves all basal and reduced to sheaths.


Spikelet terminal and solitary, 5-13 mm. long, ovoid, many-flowered, usually over 40; scales spirally arranged, 1.7-2.5 mm. long, purplish or brownish, with greenish mid-strip and paler, translucent margins, the lowest one sometimes empty; perianth bristles 6-7, brownish, about equal to the achene, or wanting; stamens 3; style usually bifid, thickened at the base.


Achenes lenticular, 1.0-1.5 mm. long, including the flattened tubercle, which is appressed to the summit of the brown, smooth and shining body of the achene.

Accepted Name:
Eleocharis engelmannii Steud.
Publication: Syn. Pl. Glumac. 2: 79. 1855 (as engelmanni). 1855.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eleocharis engelmannii Steud. var. detonsa A. Gray
Eleocharis engelmannii Steud. var. monticola (Fernald) Svenson
Eleocharis engelmannii Steud. var. robusta Fernald
Eleocharis monticola Fernald
Eleocharis monticola Fernald var. leviseta Fernald
Eleocharis ovata (Roth) Roem. & Schult. var. detonsa (A. Gray) Mohlenbr.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Eleocharis engelmannii in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Eleocharis engelmannii checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eleocharis engelmannii atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eleocharis engelmannii photos.

USDA Plants: Eleocharis engelmannii information.

3 photographs:
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