Eleocharis engelmannii (E. ovata; E. obtusa; see notes) Engelmann’s spikerush Cyperaceae ELOV; Bx, pb; Q, cu, j, u; K, fs; R, bm, c, cp, e, gb, gr, k, mm, ro, t, v, w, wp;

Eleocharis engelmannii. Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium. alienplantsbelgium.be

Eleocharis engelmannii. Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium. alienplantsbelgium.be (Accessed 4/2018).

Eleocharis engelmannii is an annual spike rush, 5-50 cm tall, clumped, roots short, fibrous (easily pulled up), stems 0.1-0.2 cm thick. 

Eleocharis engelmannii leaf sheahs. © 2016 MinnesotaWildflowers.info

Eleocharis engelmannii leaf sheaths. © 2016 MinnesotaWildflowers.info (Accessed 4/2018).

Leaves bladeless, sheaths only. 

Flowers in cone-shaped inflorescence (spikelet) 0.5-1.3 cm long, scales dark, red-brown with green center stripe (becoming pale with age), margins pale, membranous. 

 

 

Eleocharis engelmannii-091316- flower spikes. 2016 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Eleocharis engelmannii-091316- flower spikes. 2016 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info (Accessed 4/2018).

Fruit a dry achene, lens-shaped, narrow at base, with broad-based, hat-like short beak; blooms and fruits Aug.-Oct. Seeds eaten by waterfowl and shorebirds (Martin et al. 1951). 

 

Eleocharis engelmannii. scales and achenes (fruit). Zihao Wang.Pelham Bay Park. Bronx, NYC, NY. 11/2015

Eleocharis engelmannii scales and achenes (fruit). Zihao Wang.Pelham Bay Park. Bronx, NYC, NY. 11/2015

Wetland status: OBL. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional but listed as Endangered in New York State.

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Shallow water or saturated soil in open areas or partial shade, wet fill, soil pH 4.6-6.8; tolerant of fire, intolerant of shade and salt (USDA, NRCS 2010). 

Notes: Plants eaten by muskrats and rabbits (Martin et al. 1951). Synonyms: E. ovata var. engelmannii; E. ovata var. obtusa; E. engelmannii; E. obtusa; E. obtusa var. detonsa; E. obtusa var. engelmannii; E. obtusa var. jejuna; E. obtusa var. ovata. (see Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds.  1993+.)