Page author: Kevin Armitano
Eleocharis macrostachya
creeping spikerush

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual, perennial herb 20-100 cm, internal air cavities evident; rhizome 1-2 mm diam, tough, scaly, no bulb or tuber at tip; stems simple, erect, smooth, 0.5-2.5 mm diam, cylindric to flat; tip not rooting.


Leaves 2; distal sheath tough, persistent, tip truncate to obtuse, sometimes with tooth-like projection smaller than 1 mm.


Inflorescence composed of 1 spikelet 5-40 mm x 2-5 mm, spikelet terminal, often ovate, not flat, generally not forming plantlets; floral bracts 2-ranked, bracts number 30-80 each with 1 flower in axil, ovate, brown, membranous, 2.5--5.5 mm, basal without flower, some clasping most of stem, next-to-basal with flower or not; flowers number 3-100+, bisexual, perianth parts reduced to bristles numbering 0-8, barbs recurved; stamens generally 3, anthers 1.3--2.7 mm long; style 1, thread-like, base enlarged, stigmas 2.


1.1-1.9 x 0.8-1.5 mm, 2-sided, smooth or fine-roughened, generally obovate, generally brown; perianth bristles 0 or 4, vestigial to equaling tubercle, generally pyramidal.

Accepted Name:
Eleocharis macrostachya Britton
Publication: Fl. S.E. U.S. 184, 1327. 1903. 1903.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eleocharis perlonga Fernald & Brackett
Eleocharis xyridiformis Fernald & Brackett
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eleocharis macrostachya checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eleocharis macrostachya atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eleocharis macrostachya photos.

USDA Plants: Eleocharis macrostachya information.

23 photographs:
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