Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Eleocharis ovata
ovoid spikerush

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia and Alberta to Oregon, also in Arizona, and from Oklahoma east to eastern North America.

Habitat: Marshes and other wet places, from sea level to moderate elevagtions in the mountains.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Tufted annual, the culms 0.5-5 dm. tall, ribbed, 0.5-2 mm. thick.


Leaves all basal and reduced to sheaths.


Spikelets ovoid, 5-13 mm. long, many-flowered; scales of the spikelets spirally arranged, 1.7-2.5 mm. long, purplish or brownish with greenish mid-stripe and paler margins, the lowest one empty; perianth of 6-7 brownish bristles, equaling the achene or wanting; stigmas 2 or sometimes 3.


Achenes lenticular, 1-1.5 mm. long, straw-colored to dark brown, smooth and shining.

Accepted Name:
Eleocharis ovata (Roth) Roem. & Schult.
Publication: Syst. Veg. 2: 152. 1817. 1817.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eleocharis obtusa (Willd.) Schult. var. ovata (Roth) Drepalik & Mohlenbr.
Scirpus ovatus Roth
Scirpus ovatus Roth var. heuseri Uetrichtz
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Eleocharis ovata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Eleocharis ovata checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Eleocharis ovata information.

E-Flora BC: Eleocharis ovata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eleocharis ovata photos.

USDA Plants: Eleocharis ovata information.

2 photographs:
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