Plant Listings

Eleocharis geniculata

Eleocharis geniculata (Rottb.) Blake

Formerly: Eleocharis caribaea

Common Names Capitate, Spike Rush

Family: Cyperaceae

Habit: Eleocharis geniculata grows as a clumping herb that produces rhizomes. The stems are round, to 40 cm in height, and to 2 mm wide. The leaves are reduced to a reddish sheath with an apiculate tip at the base of the stem.

The actinomorphic flowers occur in spikes at the ends of the stems. Spikes less than 1 cm in length. A single bract subtends each flower. The calyx and corolla are reduced to 7 bristles. There are 3 stamens. The ovary is superior and has a 3 lobed style and a single locule. The fruit is an achene at maturity. The achene has a conical tubercle that is smooth.

Habitat: Eleocharis geniculata grows along the edges of fresh water wetlands, in Sabal palmetto woodlands and in mangrove areas that are only slightly brackish

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Eleocharis geniculata occurs on all island groupings in the Bahamian Archipelago, the southern United States, the entire Caribbean region, and tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Eleocharis geniculata is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.