Eleocharis engelmannii
Engelmann's spike rush

Key Characteristics

Small annual spike-rush (40 cm) of sandy, intermittently wet soils; stems clumped without rhizomes; achenes somewhat flattened, topped by a narrow pyramidal cap; bristles often absent.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S2S3
  • Global Rank: G4G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle11937
Distribution map for Eleocharis engelmannii

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Occurs in areas with a fluctuating water table such as coastal plain marshes, sandy lake edges, dune swales, seepages, sandy marshes, sandy and peaty edges of wetlands, and intermittent wetlands.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Agalinis purpurea (purple false foxglove), Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Calamagrostis canadensis (blue-joint), Carex granularis, C. scoparia, C. stipata, Dichanthelium spretum (panic grass), Eleocharis melanocarpa (black-fruited spike-rush), E. tricostata (three-ribbed spike-rush), Euthamia caroliniana (Lakes flat-topped goldenrod), E. graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod), Fimbristylis autumnalis (autumn sedge), Gentiana andrewsii (bottle gentian), Hypericum majus (larger Canada St. John's-wort), Juncus biflorus (two-flowered rush), J. brachycarpus (short-fruited rush), J. canadensis (Canadian rush), J. effusus (soft-stemmed rush), J. marginatus (grass-leaved rush), Lycopus americanus (common water horehound), Proserpinaca palustris (mermaid-weed), Rhexia virginica (meadow-beauty), Rhynchospora capitellata (beak-rush), Rotala ramosior (tooth-cup), Scirpus cyperinus (wool-grass), Spartina pectinata (cordgrass), Spiraea alba (meadowsweet), Stachys hyssopifolius (hyssop hedge nettle), Viola lanceolata (lance-leaved violet).


Principal management need is conservation of sensitive habitats and protection of hydrology. Its habitat is also susceptible to ORV impacts. Prescribed fire may be necessary in lakeplain prairie sites.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Mar 17, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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