Photo: Eleocharis quinqueflora

Eleocharis quinqueflora (F.X. Hartmann) Schwarz ssp. fernaldii (Svens.) Hultén

Few-flowered Spikerush

Habitat: Damp calcareous shores, ledges and swamps. [Non-tidal rivershore (non-forested, seasonally wet)]

Range: Circumboreal, south to New England and west to Iowa.

Aids to Identification: This spikerush is a perennial species with stems clustered on a short rhizome. Stems are normally 10-30 cm high, and not flattened. The solitary, terminal spikelet is ovoid, 4-8 mm long, with 3-9 flowers. The 2 lowest scales are the largest, up to 5.5 mm long. The achene is gray-brown with a thickened, confluent projection (tubercle).

Photo: Eleocharis quinqueflora

Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is known to occur on rocky river shores and riverside seeps.

Phenology: Fruits July - September.

Family: Cyperaceae

Synonyms: Eleocharis pauciflora (Lightf.) Link; Eleocharis pauciflora (Lightf.) Link var. fernaldii Svens.; Scirpus quinquefolius F.X. Hartmann.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 16 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook, Oxford, Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: Suitable habitat naturally scarce.

Conservation considerations: Maintain hydrologic integrity of its rivershore habitat, including the natural disturbance.