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Tall Spike-Rush / Tall Spike-sedge (Eleocharis sphacelata)

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The tip of each spike has a flower-head.

I’ve often posted photographs of birds or the plants around the dam, featuring the thick clump of Tall Spike-rush in the background, so I thought it was high time to put this plant in the foreground.  It seems that Tall Spike-rush is a former name and the current name is Tall Spike-sedge.  I’ve included both names in the title of this post because some of my field guides still use Tall Spike-Rush as the title of the entry.

Growing in areas that are regularly flooded, the Tall Spike-rush can flourish in water up to 2 meters deep.  When we first moved here, this patch was well and truly growing IN the dam, and would have been growing in at least one meter of water, maybe more. At the moment, the dropping water levels mean that part of the clump is actually exposed to air now. I’ve noticed some of the spikes have started to go brown, but there is still quite a bit of green with new shoots coming through.

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Clump of Tall Spike-rush

At the end of each spike, a flower head appears.  I must say that I missed the actual flower, so it must not have been very conspicuous. My field guide says the Tall Spike-rush flowers from September through until February.

Thick patches of Tall Spike-rush are excellent habitat for frogs, birds – and since I’ve discovered the Long-necked Turtles, also good feeding grounds for turtles!

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An Eastern Long-necked Turtle looks for food in amongst the Tall Spike-Rush. On the day I was watching it, there were plenty of dragonflies landing on the spikes.
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You think that was a spike?This is a spike!
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As a backdrop for water birds, the Tall Spike-rush is actually very pretty. Especially when they reflect on the surface of the water.

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