This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek-made word, meaning delighting in marshes). Sometimes written Heleocharis. Cyperaceae. Rush-like native plants, mostly of low, wiry growth, and commonest in marshes and on muddy shores, mostly perennial. The culms are simple, terete or angular, bearing a spherical or oblong head of inconspicuous flowers: leaves usually reduced to mere sheaths. They are interesting for the borders of ponds, and are very easy to naturalize. Numbers of species are likely to be offered by dealers in native plants; three have been listed: E. interstincta R. &. S. (E. equisetoides, Torr.). A shore plant, with terete knotted culms 2-3 ft. high, and cylindrical heads about the thickness of the culm; resembles horse-tail (Equisetum). E. acicul-aris, R. & S. Hair-like, 3-6 in. high, making grass-like mats. E. ovata, R. & S. Culms nearly terete, 12-15 in. high: head globose or ovate. Eleocharis has about 100 species, widely distributed, of which nearly half occur in Canada and the U. S. L H. B.