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Eleocharis montevidensis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
el-ee-OK-ar-iss mon-tay-vid-EN-sis
Description

Spike rush is a widespread coastal plant in the Cyperaceae (sedge) family native to the USA. It grows in moist, sandy spots in various habitat locations as lakes, riverbanks, wet meadows, woodlands, and springs.

It grows quickly to a height of 6 to 18 inches in erect clumps.  Spike rush prefers full sun to partial shade and wet sandy soils.  It withstands being submerged in water.  The leaves are thin and hair-like, giving it a fine texture, and the flower spikes resemble small cones. This plant can be propagated by root division or seed.  All parts of the plant are eaten by many species of waterfowl and shorebirds.

Use in small groups or mass planted along pond margins, rain gardens, or wet sites in the landscape.  Spike rush can be grown in a 1 to 2 gallon pot covered with 1 to 2 inches of water. It is also used in water gardens and aquariums.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  It can spread aggressively by rhizomes and seeds.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#water garden#rain garden#weedy#mass planting#stream banks#fast growing#aggressive#NC native#ponds#groundcover#marshes#naturalized area#native water plant#small group plantings#sandy soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#waterfowl#flood tolerant#host plant#meadows#drought intolerant#coastal plant#freshwater habitat
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#water garden#rain garden#weedy#mass planting#stream banks#fast growing#aggressive#NC native#ponds#groundcover#marshes#naturalized area#native water plant#small group plantings#sandy soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#waterfowl#flood tolerant#host plant#meadows#drought intolerant#coastal plant#freshwater habitat
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eleocharis
    Species:
    montevidensis
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & S. U.S.A., S. America
    Distribution:
    AL , AZ , CA , CO , FL , GA , KS , LA , MS , NC , NM , OK , SC , TX
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides food for waterfowl and shorebirds. Serves as a host plant for Yellow-Collared Scape Moth and Thopeulis forbesellus.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Water Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oval achenes are oval and brown
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Rounded reddish spikelets resembling cones at tips of stems April- Aug. have several tiny flowers covered in brownish bracts
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Grass or hair-like leaves that are red or purple at the base and green on the upper leaves up to 20 inches tall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Round green stems with reddish bases
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy