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Common Spikerush
Eleocharis palustris

Native, perennial herb growing in dense mats. Creeping spikerush is excellent for erosion control of ditches, lakes, and slow streams because of its dense growth in clumps along shorelines. Plants spread rapidly by rhizomes and will develop a thick root mass that is resistant to compaction and erosion.

USDA symbol: ELPA3

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height1 to 3 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureWet
Bloom ColorBrown
Common Spikerush (Common Spikerush<div><em class="small">Eleocharis palustris</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience6
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceAlkaline Conditions, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: None Known

Bloom MonthsMay to June

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Restoration, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism5
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Murray, Nicollet, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Rock, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington, Wilkin, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands