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Square Rush Eleocharis quadrangulata

Previously known as:

  • Eleocharis quadrangulata var. crassior
  • Scirpus quadrangulatus
Phonetic Spelling
el-ee-OK-ar-iss kwad-ran-gew-LAY-tuh
Description

Square-stem spikerush is a native spikesedge found in central and eastern North America with additional populations in the Pacific states and central Mexico. It is found growing along freshwater bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, streams and along river and lake shores. 

This rhizomatous sedge has a sharply 4-angled spongy stem and grows 2-3 feet tall. The blooms are on a single spikelet with several small flowers covered in brown bracts that occur during the summer. The leaves are sheaths near the base of the stem. The plant is not aggressive and spreads slowly by rhizomes.

This plant can be used in shallow freshwater sites in full sun. It tolerates wet soils to standing water up to 12 inches. This plant provides shelter to aquatic animals and food to various birds. It may be difficult to find for sale.

Quick ID hints

  • Slow rhizomatous spreader
  • Culms acutely quadrangular
  • Flowers-perianth bristles

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#native perennials#sedge#riparian#ducks#wetlands#stream banks#NC native#fish#frogs#tall#lakes#grass-like#naturalized area#pond edge#OBL#wet soils tolerant#native#aquatic#grass
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#native perennials#sedge#riparian#ducks#wetlands#stream banks#NC native#fish#frogs#tall#lakes#grass-like#naturalized area#pond edge#OBL#wet soils tolerant#native#aquatic#grass
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eleocharis
    Species:
    quadrangulata
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Water gardens and wetlands
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA, Canada, Mexico
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides food for ducks and geese and shelter for amphibians, fish and other aquatic wildlife
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Water Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a seed, surrounded by scales. Yellow-brown oval achene that is wider in the middle, and tapered at each end. Stripes/ridges run from end to end.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Spikelets of tiny flowers covered in brown bracts occurring during the summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are bladeless sheaths near the base of the stems. Above the waterline, they are green, while below the waterline they are white.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Spongy, square green stem
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Frogs
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil