Dwarf spikerush (Eleocharis parvula)


q       Europe, North America, and northern South America. (1)


Climate, elevation

q       Moist mild climates. (3)

q       Coastal lowland to midmontane elevations. (3)


Local occurrence (where, how common)

q       Scattered from southern Vancouver Island along coast into Northern California. (3)


Habitat preferences

q       Wet saline flats, marshes, and alkaline lakes. (1)


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

q       Grows individually or in clumps along shorelines or in shallow water, sometimes forming ankle-high turf-like mats. (1)

q       Adapted to fluctuating water levels and prolonged soil saturation. (1)

q       Drought & shade intolerant. (2)


Associated species

q       Carex ssp. (4)

q       Juncus effuses (soft rush) (4)

q       Scripus acutus (hardstem bulrush) (4)


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

q       Seed, sprigs, bareroot & tubers. (2)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

q       Seed abundance is low and seeds are non-persistent.

q       Seeds ripen in late August to October & may be collected by stripping the seeds from the plant by hand or clipping the seed head using a pair of hand shears. (5)


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

q       Cold stratification not required. (2)

q       Germination may be slightly enhanced by lightly scarifying. (5)


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

q       NA


Recommended seed storage conditions

q       NA


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

q       Bare root, seeds, sprigs & tubers (2)


Soil or medium requirements (inoculums necessary?)

q       Adapted to course, medium & fine textured soils. (2)

q       Anaerobic tolerance is high. (2)

q       Low fertility requirements. (2)


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

q       Seeds need light, moisture & heat for germination. Seed should be placed on soil surface (not covered) with good soil contact. Germination within 1-2 weeks. Maintain moisture until plants are transplanted. (5)

q       Planting plugs (either from the greenhouse or wild transplants) is the most successful way to establish this species. (5)

q       Wild transplants can be collected & planted directly into desired site. (5)


Recommended planting density

q       Plug spacing of 30-45 cm will fill in within one growing season. (5)

Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

q       Soils should be kept saturated. Fluctuating water levels during the first year will increase spread. (5)

Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

q       Stoloniferous growth form with moderate life span reaching 1.5 at maturity. (2)

q       Seed spread rate is slow. (2)

q       Vegetative spread rate is rapid. (2)


Sources cited

1.    Washington State Dept of Ecology: Water Quality Program http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/plantid2/descriptions/ele.html


2.      USDA, NRCS. 2006. The Plants Database. Last Updated: 09/14/2005 http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ELPA5


3.       Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing. 1994


4.      Stevens, M. and R. Vanbianchi. Restoring Wetlands in Washington: A Guidebook for Wetland Restoration, Planning and Implementation. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 93-17, 110p. 1993


5.      USDA, NRCS. 1994. Interagency Riparian/Wetland Project , Wetland plant Fact Sheet, http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/idpmcfselpa3.pdf


Data compiled by Cheryl Brammer 4/12/06