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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Purple Spikerush - Eleocharis atropurpurea

Undetermined Origin

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Reported for Montana in Dorn (1984).
General Description
Plants annual, cespitose. Culms erect or arcuate, terete, up to 15 cm tall. Leaf sheath oblique at apex and firm. Spikelet ovoid, up to 7 mm long, many-flowered; scales ovate, membranaceous with a green midrib and deep brown sides. Bristles several, translucent, slender, shorter than the achene or reduced; stamens 1-3; styles 2-branched, on a lenticular, obovoid achene, about 0.5 mm long, smooth, shining, lustrous black; tubercle conic and minute (Kolstad 1986, Flora of the Great Plains).

Range Comments
Erractic distribution in lower half of USA but evidently nowhere common (Kartesz 2009).

Sandy, moist areas, low prairies, margins of ponds (Kolstad 1986).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Purple Spikerush — Eleocharis atropurpurea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from