Eleocharis geniculata

Eleocharis geniculata (L.) Roem. & Schult.

Synonym: 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 complete, perfect, 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: Eleocharis geniculata occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan 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 known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.