Eleocharis pusilla ("E. parvula")

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Nano tanks, Foreground, group, Foreground, ground cover
Difficulty: easy
Growth: medium

Availability [?]: 
  • frequently available commercially

  • Scirpus pumilio Sprengel

Misapplied names: 
  • Eleocharis parvula
  • Eleocaris parvula

Habit, plant type:

  • rhizome or creeping stem
Botanical name [?]: Eleócharis pusílla R. Br.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Eleocharis


Dwarf spikerush is often sold in trade under the name Eleocharis parvula. However, according to Kasselmann (2010), this plant truly is E. pusilla, native to Australia and New Zealand, which was imported from Australia by the aquatic plant nursery Tropica. It has been in trade since 1997.
True E. parvula may not even be available in trade; it is distributed in Europe, Northern Africa, Asia as well as North and Central America and is most frequently found in brackish habitats on the coast. The rhizome tips of E. parvula often show small spindle-shaped tubers forming a J- or U-shaped bow. These lack completely in E. pusilla.

When cultivated submersed under identical conditions, Eleocharis pusilla differs from the long-known aquarium plant Eleocharis acicularis by its lesser height (in most cases clearly under 10 cm), a lighter shade of green and by stalks curving sideways.

Eleocharis species are hard to discern, and without their spikes or rather infrutescence they are practically unidentifiable. Thus it is highly probable that there is more than one species in trade under the label "Eleocharis parvula". In the USA, e.g., a Eleocharis sp. 'Belem' is known, which seems to be quite similar to the plant cultivated as "E. parvula". Dwarf spikerush is also easily confused with E. acicularis.

- To be continued -

Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 12 to 27 °C
Optimum temperature 20 to 25 °C
Carbonate hardness 0 to 14 °dKH
pH value 5 to 7 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 6 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Growth: medium

Propagation: Runners, Splitting, cutting off daughter plants

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: unknown

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
Aquascaping: forms a grass-like lawn

light green

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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.