Page author: Don Knoke
Eleocharis parvula
little-head spikerush

Distribution: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Newfoundland, south to northern South America.

Habitat: Wet, saline or alkaline soils.

Flowers: June - September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Diminutive, very slender perennial from slender rhizomes, forming dense mats; culms filiform, 2-6 cm. tall.


Leaves all basal and reduced to sheaths.


Spikelet terminal and solitary, 2-4.5 mm. long with 2-9 flowers; scales of the spikelets spirally arranged, 1.5-2 mm. long, the lowest one empty; perianth of 3-6 bristles, or none; stamens 3; style trifid, thickened at the base.


Achenes straw-colored, triangular 0.9-1.3 mm. long including the inconspicuous tubercle, which is confluent with the body of the achene.

Accepted Name:
Eleocharis parvula (Roem. & Schultes) Link ex Bluff Nees, & Schauer
Publication: Comp. Fl. German. ed. 2. 1: 93. 1836. 1836.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eleocharis parvula (Roem. & Schult.) Link ex Bluff, Nees & Schauer var. parvula [HC]
Eleocharis pygmaea Torr.
Scirpus nanus Spreng.
Scirpus parvulus Roem. & Schult.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eleocharis parvula checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eleocharis parvula atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eleocharis parvula photos.

USDA Plants: Eleocharis parvula information.

14 photographs:
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