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

Eleocharis elliptica Kunth
Slender spike-rush (elliptic spikerush; elliptic spike-rush)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #79511)

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

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Perennial, tufted herb from thick, creeping rhizomes; stems slender, scattered or loosely clustered, 6- to 8-angled with a vascular bundle under each angle, 5-40 cm tall.
Sheaths conspicuously reddish-purple toward the bases, blunt-tipped; blades lacking.
Spikes solitary, terminal, egg-shaped, 3-10 mm long, 10- to 30-flowered.
Outermost scale relatively large and broad, globe-shaped, usually with firm, often greenish areas toward the bases on the midribs, the other scales narrower, usually 2-3 mm long, mostly dark except for the pale, translucent tips, the lowest scale usually

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Lakeshores, streamsides and wet meadows in the steppe and montane zones; rare in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and N of 50degreeN; N to SW AK, E to NF and S to ME, MA, NC, GA, MS, TX, NM, ID and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eleocharis elliptica

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) 765 871 1000
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 180 180
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: ICH(1), IDF(1), PP(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 capitata var. borealis Svens.
Eleocharis compressa Sull.
Eleocharis compressa var. borealis (Svens.) Drapalik & Mohlenbr.
Eleocharis elliptica var. compressa
Eleocharis elliptica var. elliptica
Eleocharis tenuis (Willd.) Schult.
Eleocharis tenuis var. borealis (Svens.) Gleason

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References