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Eleocharis montevidensis (Sand spikerush)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Eleocharis montevidensis

Eleocharis montevidensis Kunth

Sand Spikerush, Spike Rush

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Eleocharis arenicola, Eleocharis palmeri

USDA Symbol: elmo2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The graceful, hairlike leaves of this spikerush are seen almost anywhere there are low-lying wet areas in full sun. Growing in dense mats, it can cover many meters with its delicate foliage and dainty, cone-like flowerheads.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Spikelet
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Leaf: bright yellowish green
Flower: Flowers tiny.
Fruit: Yellow to brown, tiny.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AZ , CA , CO , FL , GA , KS , LA , MS , NC , NM , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: North America south to South America
Native Habitat: Moist, low-lying areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Acidic to alkaline both okay, as long as there is sufficient moisture. Can tolerate some brackishness.
Conditions Comments: In moist to marshy, seasonally flooded areas in full sun.


Use Wildlife: All parts eaten by many species of waterfowl and shore birds.
Use Other: Good as a lawn replacement for low, wet areas.
Attracts: Birds


Propagation Material: Root Division

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1036 Collected 2007-06-06 in Montgomery County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eleocharis montevidensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eleocharis montevidensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eleocharis montevidensis


Record Modified: 2023-02-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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