Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Gulf Coast Spikerush
Eleocharis cellulosa Torr.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This is one of the spikerushes which has its spike no wider than the stem that bears
it. It differs from similar species by not having cross-markings on its stem and with the coarse
stem more than 1/8 inch thick.
- Habitat: Tidal marshes, sloughs, wet ditches, often in shallow standing water.
- Habit: Coarse perennial sedge with stout rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, coarse, smooth, round in cross-section, without cross-markings, more than
1/8 inch thick, up to 2 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Reduced to sheaths at the base of the stems.
- Flowers: Crowded into a solitary spike at the tip of the stem; spike cylindrical, no wider than
the stem that supports it, up to 2 1/2 inches long, straw-colored, many-flowered.
- Scales: Straw-colored, rounded at the tip, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Achenes obovoid, light brown to reddish brown, up to 1/8 inch long, tapering to a
triangular tip, subtended by 6 bristles about as long as the achene.
- Notes: This species, because of its extensive rhizome system, usually forms extensive colonies.
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