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Eleocharis palustris   (L. ) Roem. & J.A. Schultes
[=Eleocharis macrostachya Britton]
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Height: Up to 4 feet
Family: Cyperaceae - Sedge Family
Flowering Period:   April, May, June, July
Culms: Erect, long, slender, soft to rigid, often flattened, sometimes twisted, glabrous.
Leaves: Few, small bladeless sheaths near bases of culms, pale brown, tips appear cut nearly straight across.
Inflorescences: Spikelets, solitary, terminal, lanceolate to slightly cylindric, to 1.25 inch long, few- to many-flowered; flowers perfect; lowest scales usually 2, sterile; fertile scales spirally overlapping, narrowly ovate or oblong-lanceolate, pale brown to straw colored with light green midribs; margins transparent; tips blunt or pointed; bristles to 8 at bases of flowers, as long as achenes or occasionally very short; styles 2-cleft, enlarged below into small, cap-like projection.
Fruits: Achenes, egg-shaped, yellowish brown, becoming dark brown with age, 1-seeded.
Habitat: Pond and lake edges, marshy areas, and ditches.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
 Flat-stem or compressed spike-rush (Eleocharis compressa) occurs in similar habitats but is only 4-12 inches tall.

Long-stem spike-rush
73 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Long-stem spike-rush
42 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas