Spikerush - Bright Green Spikerush
Eleocharis olivacea
Cyperaceae (Sedge) Family

This is one of the larger species, growing upwards to 30 inches. It is a perennial with very thin rhizomes, forming mats. The upper part of the leaf sheath is thin, very loose, and transparent. The spikelets are about 1 inch long. Its preferred habitat is swales, sloughs, ditches, pond margins, and the edge of slow moving streams. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The olivacea is distinguished from other rush by having olive-green to dark brown achenes. The fruit bundle is tubercle on the end of the stems; conic and about as wide as tall.

Related species in the Escambia region are Hairgrass, E. baldwinii, Viviparous Spikerush, E. vivipara, Jointed Spikerush, E. equisetoides, Annual Spikerush, E. atropurpurea, and Square-stem Spikerush, E. quadrangulata.

To easily recognize members of this group, look for fleshy, unbranched stems, leaf sheaths with no leaf blades, single terminal flower spikes of overlapping scales with no leaf-like bracts below the spike, and achenes with tubercles. The plants are usually rooted and emergent but some species may form floating or submersed mats.

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