Spikerush – Eleocharis Acicularis
The spike rush is a small perennial plant that is often confused with certain species of grass or other rushes. Spike rushes usually grow in wet conditions; they often grow underwater or in moist soils. The spike rush is among the ten largest groups of flowering plants. The spike rush may be easily identified by the small spikes or clusters the top of each growth. While it may not appear, these clusters are flowers. These unassuming flowers, while not particularly impressive to look at, are vital members of wetland ecosystems. The flowers of a spike rush are usually egg-shaped. These plants spread using rhizomes or underground stems and usually form dense groups or tufts. The Common spike rush may be found all across North America, excluding Georgia and Florida. It is also readily seen in northern Europe and parts of Asia. Not particular to elevation, the spike rush can grow anywhere there is ample moisture, including mountain bogs or low-lying swamps. The easiest way to distinguish between different types of spike rush is to examine the flower clusters at the top of the plant. Differences in size, shape, and color may be used to tell one species of spike rush from another. The spike rush may be found alongside a variety of plants, with the exact plants to be found alongside it depending on the environment. It also may be found growing in a group of its species; however, this is not as common. While these plants are strikingly common, certain species are considered rare. Wolf's spike-rush, for example, is regarded as a threatened species in the United States and is even endangered in some states. The use of detrimental herbicides and the manipulation of water cycles both contribute significantly to the decline of Wolf's spike rush.