Audubon® Creeping Spikerush
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No leaves? No problem! Creeping Spikerush is an odd plant with no leaves that fills important roles in wetland areas. This primitive-looking plant is made up of slim, semi-evergreen stems that perform photosynthesis in place of leaves and sturdy roots that hold the mucky soil in place along rivers, streams, bogs, and lakes. In late summer and early fall, it offers seeds to Mallards, Virginia Rails, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, American Coots, and Canada Geese. During the nesting season, Creeping Spikerush also supplies excellent habitat for waterbirds. An easy, low-maintenance plant for covering (wet) ground and providing benefits to birds.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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This humble and often overlooked plant has quietly established itself on three continents! It is a survivor. Creeping Spikerush is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. In the United States, this species is found in 48 states (Georgia and Florida are the exceptions). Growing in up to three feet of water, it thrives wherever it can have constant moisture at its feet. In the wild, it grows near broad, rushing rivers as well as by still waters. Creeping Spikerush is being used more and more in managed landscapes, too, from bioswales to rain gardens to restoration projects.
Does it flower? Creeping Spikerush does produce flowers on its stem tips in summer, but the tan “blossoms” are more functional than beautiful. They are wind-pollinated, like those of grasses. After pollination, the nutritious seeds appear, and many waterfowl seek them out.
How to Grow
If you’ve read this far, it should be evident that constantly wet soil is a must for Creeping Spikerush! Once established, it can cope with fluctuating water levels and can be submerged in up to three feet of water. This plant is best in full sun, but it will also accept part shade. Do not fertilize this or any other wetland plants, as fertilizer can pollute waterways. In any case, Creeping Spikerush has the ability to “fix” nitrogen from the air, so it can supply itself with all the nourishment it needs. It will spread via seeds and underground stems (rhizomes).
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