Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Twisted Spikerush - Eleocharis tortilis   (Link) J.A. Schultes
Members of Eleocharis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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Author(Link) J.A. Schultes
DistributionMostly the Sandhills and the inner Coastal Plain; large gaps in most of the lower and central Coastal Plain. Also recorded from the lowermost Piedmont of Anson and Montgomery counties; disjunct westward to Stokes and Henderson counties.

Coastal Plain, NJ to FL, TX, and AR; disjunct to central TN.
AbundanceFrequent in the Sandhills and parts of the inner Coastal Plain, scarce or rare elsewhere. The website editors suggest a State Rank of S3.
HabitatWet streamheads and their ecotones, Sandhill seeps, openings in blackwater stream swamps, pocosin-pine savanna ecotones. Clearly a species of blackwater conditions in most of the state.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Peatlands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-September.
IdentificationThe plants usually are densely clumped, with slender stems 1-2 feet tall and erect to leaning or lax. It is one of our easiest spikerushes to identify, due to the twisted stems, easily noted by sliding one between your thumb and forefinger.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

The genus Eleocharis, the spikerushes, are unusual members of the sedge family in that the culms (flowering stems) are round or oval (rarely triangular) in cross-section, rather than triangular in the great majority of our sedges. In addition, leaf blades are absent; just 1-2 basal sheaths are present at the base of the culm. There is a single, cylindrical or narrowly ovoid, spikelet of florets at the culm summit. Details of achene (seed) shape, color, ornamentation, bristle length, and beak (tubercle) shape and size, are critical ID factors.
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2? [S3]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
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