Eleocharis palustris

  1. Wildlife
  2. Grasses
  3. Spike-rush


A creeping plant found on marshes and at pond edges, Common Spike-rush is widespread and common. Its bright green stems arise in tufts and are decorated with brown, egg-shaped flowers from May to July. It spreads using rhizomes (underground stems) and can form dense stands.

How to identify

Forming mats of straight, bright green stems, Common Spike-rush does look like lots of tightly clustered spikes near the water's edge. At the end of the stems, the rounded, brown spikelet (containing the flowers) appears.

Where to find it


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and development, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: add native plants and flowers to a wildlife-friendly pond and provide shelter for frogs and nectar for insects. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Eleocharis palustris
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status