Eleocharis acuta is a mat-forming sedge found in coastal to montane regions throughout New Zealand along river and lake edges. Common in open to partially shaded permanently damp ground and sometimes seepages within pasture. Usually in swamps, and on stream, river, pond, and riparian margins. Prefers very wet to constantly wet soil, will survive prolonged periods under 200mm of water, and can cope with being completely submerged for short periods. Can survive without water inundation but requires damp soil.
Eleocharis acuta can grow in stationary to slowly moving water. Quickly colonising fresh-water areas to form a soil stabilising mat. It is used in wetland areas creating habitat for waterbirds as nesting material and the seeds as a food source. Spike-rushes also provide excellent habitat for frogs and insects. In addition to providing habitat for a range of species, it also acts as bank stabilisation along the edges of lagoons, dams, drainage lines and waterlogged low-lying areas.
Also an excellent ornamental plant for ponds and natural water features. Eleocharis acuta forms dense strands of upright, mid to dark-green cylindrical stems. Small cream to brown spikes appear at the tip of the foliage from spring to autumn. The soft stems move easily with water creating a visual display of movement. Great for stabilising banks, or an ornamental for ponds in shallow water. Attractive to both birds and insects. Evergreen. Hardy.
For more information on plant communities, we recommend DOC’s publication Native Plant Communities of the Canterbury Plains.