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bent spike-rush, Canada spikesedge, capitate spike-rush

Habit Plants tufted, without creeping rhizomes.

to 45 cm × 0.2–1 mm.


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


orbicular to ovoid, 1–9 × 1–4 mm, apex rounded to acute;

proximal scale without flower, not amplexicaulous;

floral scales to 125, 11–14 per mm of rachilla, tightly appressed, dark red-brown to stramineous, ovate to elliptic, 0.8–3 × 0.6–2(–2.3) mm, membranous to cartilaginous, apex rounded to acute.


perianth bristles (0–)4–8, typically 7, red-brown, rarely whitish, vestigial to much exceeding tubercle, typically equaling achene, spinules few to dense;

styles 2-fid.


brown ripening to black, biconvex, orbicular to obpyriform, 0.5–1.1 × 0.3–0.7 mm, apex rarely constricted proximal to tubercle, very finely reticulate at 40X.


stramineous to whitish, umbonate to subconic, 0.2–0.4 × 0.2–0.5 mm, apex rounded to acute.


= 10.

Eleocharis geniculata

Phenology Fruiting spring–winter (Mar–Dec).
Habitat Brackish creeks, canal banks, dune depressions, hammocks, irrigation ditches, lakeshores, lagoons, mangrove thickets, maritime mud flats, ditches, salt marshes
Elevation 0–1500 m (0–4900 ft)
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The name Eleocharis caribaea (Rottbøll) S. F. Blake is considered by most contemporary authorities to be misapplied (K. L. Wilson 1990). Eleocharis geniculata has been reported from South Carolina; I have not seen a voucher.

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

Source FNA vol. 23, p. 101.
Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Eleocharis > subg. Eleocharis > sect. Eleogenus > ser. Maculosae
Sibling taxa
E. acicularis, E. aestuum, E. albida, E. ambigens, E. atropurpurea, 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. 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 geniculatus, E. capitata, E. caribaea, E. dispar
Name authority (Linnaeus) Roemer & Schultes: in J. J. Roemer et al., Syst. Veg. 2: 150. (1817)
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