Page author: Don Knoke
Eleocharis quinqueflora
few-flowered spike-rush

Distribution: Circumboreal, south in North America to California and New Jersey.

Habitat: Bogs and other wet places, from the lowlands to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial from short, stout rhizomes; also with elongate, slender stolons with a terminal bud; culms 1-3 dm. tall, under 1 mm. thick.


Leaves all basal and reduced to sheaths.


Spikelet terminal and solitary, 4-8 mm. long, 3- to 9-flowered; scales spirally arranged, 2.5-5.5 mm. long, the lower 2 larger than the others but subtending flowers; perianth bristles longer or shorter than the achene; stamens 3; stigma trifid, thickened at the base.


Achenes broadest above the middle, 1.9-2.6 mm. long including the short stylar beak which is continuous with the body of the 3-ribbed, triangular or plano-convex achene.

Accepted Name:
Eleocharis quinqueflora (Hartm.) O. Schwarz
Publication: Mitt. Thüring. Bot. Ges. 1: 89. 1949. 1949.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eleocharis fernaldii (Svenson) Á. Löve
Eleocharis pauciflora (Lightf.) Link [HC, JPM]
Eleocharis pauciflora (Lightf.) Link var. fernaldii Svenson
Eleocharis quinqueflora (Hartm.) O. Schwarz ssp. fernaldii (Svenson) Hultén
Scirpus quinqueflorus Hartm.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eleocharis quinqueflora checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eleocharis quinqueflora atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eleocharis quinqueflora photos.

USDA Plants: Eleocharis quinqueflora information.

16 photographs:
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