Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Eleocharis ochrostachys Steud.

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Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Steudel, E.G. von (1855) Synopsis Plantarum Glumacearum 2: 80. Type: Zollinger 266; ; Indonesia: Java (P).

Common name

Spike rush


Perennial with short rhizomes and long stolons. Stems erect, tufted, rigid, terete, smooth, 35-60 cm tall and 2-5 mm diam.


Sheaths membranous and closelt appressed and purplish at the base.


Spikelet cylindrical, broader than the stem, acute, pale green, 10-20 x 3-4 mm; glumes firm and loosely imbricate, appressed, obtuse, many nerved with a prominent midnerve, 4-5 x 2-3.5 mm, with broad papery margins Bristles 5-7, coarse, 2-3 times as long as the nut, retrorsely scabrous in the upper half.


Nut turgidly and unequally biconvex and ribbed on the margins with horizontal cells inbetween, obovate to broadly obovate, with an annular prominence ca. ½-¾ as wide as the nut at the apex, shining straw-colored to grey, 1.5-2 mm long, longitudinal ridges prominent. Style base deltoid, flat and dark brown.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 60 m. Grows along streams in closed forest also in Melaleuca swamps. Also occurs from India through to China, Japan, Micronesia and Melanesia.

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