E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Eleocharis rostellata (Torr.) Torr.
beaked spike-rush (beaked spikerush)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #67124)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Eleocharis rostellata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from short, stout, often ascending or nearly vertical rhizomes; stems clustered, more or less flattened, at least near the tops, some of them elongating, arching, then rooting from apical bulbils, (2) 40-100 cm tall.
Blades lacking.
Spikes solitary, terminal, spindle-shaped, (5) 8-13 mm long, (5) 10- to 20- (25-) flowered.
Scales firm, egg-shaped, blunt, or the upper sharp-pointed, with translucent margins, equalling or surpassing the achenes; perianth bristles about equalling the achenes, with sharp teeth directed backwards; stigmas 3; achenes egg-shaped, rounded and 3-angled to plano-convex, light greenish to medium brown, smooth and shining or slightly cellular roughened, 1.9-2.8 mm long including the prominent, pale, nosecone-like tubercles, which are up to 0.75 mm long and do not form distinct apical caps on the achenes.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Salt marshes, hot springs and alkaline or saline ponds in the lowland and steppe zones; rare in S BC; disjunct E to ON and NS and S to MA, NJ, FL, TX, NM, AZ and CA; S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eleocharis rostellata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 630 1011 1928
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 1
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(2), ICH(4), IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Eleocharis rostellata var. congdonii Jeps.
Eleocharis rostellata var. occidentalis S. Watson
Scirpus rostellatus Torr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References