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purple spike-rush

Habit Plants tufted, without creeping rhizomes.
Culms

2–12(–19) cm × 0.2–0.4 mm.

Leaves

distal leaf sheaths firm, distally tightly sheathing, apex acute.

Spikelets

ovoid to ellipsoid, 2–6(–8) × 1–2.5 mm, apex acute;

proximal scale with or without flower, not amplexicaulous;

floral scales to 100, 15–19 per mm of rachilla, often loosely appressed, dark red-brown to stramineous, ovate to elliptic, 0.6–1.3 × 0.3–0.7 mm, membranous, apex rounded to acute.

Flowers

perianth bristles (0–)4–6, typically 4, colorless to whitish, vestigial to 1/2 as long as achene, smooth or spinuliferous;

styles 2-fid.

Achenes

black, obovoid, biconvex, 0.3–0.5 × 0.3–0.4 mm, apex often constricted proximal to tubercle, smooth at 40X.

Tubercles

stramineous to whitish, umbonate to subconic, 0.1–0.2 × 0.1–0.2 mm, apex acute.

2n

= 20.

Eleocharis atropurpurea

Phenology Fruiting summer–fall (Jun–Sep).
Habitat Canal banks, hammocks, irrigation ditches, lake and pond margins, maritime shores, rice fields
Elevation 0–1800 m [0–5900 ft]
Discussion

Eleocharis atropurpurea has been reported from Colorado, Montana, and Virginia; I have not seen voucher specimens.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
AL; CA; FL; GA; IA; KS; LA; MI; MO; NC; NE; NM; OK; SC; TX; WA; BC; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies; Europe (naturalized); Asia; Africa; Pacific Islands
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Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Eleocharis > subg. Eleocharis > sect. Eleogenus > ser. Maculosae
Sibling taxa
E. acicularis, E. aestuum, E. albida, E. ambigens, E. baldwinii, E. bella, E. bernardina, E. bicolor, E. bifida, E. bolanderi, E. brachycarpa, E. brittonii, E. cancellata, E. cellulosa, E. coloradoensis, E. compressa, E. cylindrica, E. decumbens, E. diandra, E. elliptica, E. elongata, E. engelmannii, E. equisetoides, E. erythropoda, E. fallax, E. flavescens, E. geniculata, E. intermedia, E. interstincta, E. kamtschatica, E. lanceolata, E. macrostachya, E. mamillata, E. melanocarpa, E. microcarpa, E. minima, E. montana, E. montevidensis, E. nana, E. nigrescens, E. nitida, E. obtusa, E. obtusetrigona, E. occulta, E. ovata, E. pachycarpa, E. palustris, E. parishii, E. parvula, E. quadrangulata, E. quinqueflora, E. radicans, E. ravenelii, E. retroflexa, E. reverchonii, E. robbinsii, E. rostellata, E. suksdorfiana, E. tenuis, E. torticulmis, E. tortilis, E. tricostata, E. tuberculosa, E. uniglumis, E. vivipara, E. wolfii
Synonyms Scirpus atropurpureus
Name authority (Retzius) J. Presl & C. Presl: in C. B. Presl, Reliq. Haenk. 1: 196. (1828)
Source Flora of North America vol. 23, p. 102.
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