Eleocharis melanocarpa
Black-fruited spike-rush
Image of Eleocharis melanocarpa

Photo by Ryan P. O'Connor 

Key Characteristics

Perennial spike-rush of sandy, intermittently wet soils; culms clumped, flattened; achenes black, topped by a broad, flattened, pale cap.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan52016
Barry12012
Berrien12015
Cass41988
Kalamazoo52005
Kent61944
Lake32014
Mason22001
Muskegon62003
Newaygo82006
Oceana12006
St. Joseph11986
Van Buren62015
Distribution map for Eleocharis melanocarpa

Updated 1/31/2017. 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.

Habitat

Found 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

Methodology

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.

Feel free to send questions and comments to Brad Slaughter at slaugh14@msu.edu.

Associated Plants

Numerous graminoids associated with coastal plain marshes, including Engelmann's spikerush, panic grasses, bulrushes, and beak-rushes; bluejoint grass, twig-rush, sedges, bushy aster, black-fruited spike-rush, umbrella-grass, northern clubmoss, panic grass, cross-leaved milkwort, bald rush, tall beak-rush, tooth-cup, netted nut-rush, hyssop hedge nettle, marsh St John's-wort, pipewort, autumn sedge, meadow beauty; shrub margin: red maple, black gum, pin oak, black chokecherry, dogwoods, and buttonbush.

Management

This species requires conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology, including maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table. Maintain moist, open habitat. It is also vulnerable to ORV impacts and dredging and filling activities.

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 24, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References