Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Eleocharis parvula (Roem. & J.A. Schultes) Bluff & Fingerh.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: This sedge, which grows no taller than 4 inches, differs form other similar short spikerushes by its triangular achene which tapers imperceptibly into the terminal tubercle.
- Habitat: Alluvial banks, brackish shores, around lakes and ponds, along streams, marshes, often in shallow standing water.
- Habit: Tufted perennial with short, slender rhizomes, often forming extensive turfs.
- Stems: Ascending to upright, up to 4 inches tall, smooth, angular.
- Leaves: Reduced to sheaths at the base of the stems.
- Flowers: 4-10, crowded into a solitary spike at the tip of the stem; spike ovoid to ellipsoid, much wider than the stem that supports it, up to 1/4 inch long, straw-colored.
- Scales: Straw-colored, rounded at the tip, up to 1/10 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Achenes obvoid, yellowish to pale brown, up to 1/16 inch long, subtended by as many as 6 bristles as long as or longer than the achenes.
- Notes: Ducks feed on the tiny tubers on the rhizomes of this plant, and frequently one will find windrows of this plant floating in the water along the shores where ducks have been feeding.
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