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Audubon Creeping Spikerush with native water fowl
Close up of Audubon Native Creeping Spikerush, thin green stem with fuzzy white seedling on top
American counties where Audubon Native Creeping Spikerush is native to
Picture of a Wood Duck
Picture of Mallard Ducks
Audubon Creeping Spikerush with native water fowl
Close up of Audubon Native Creeping Spikerush, thin green stem with fuzzy white seedling on top
American counties where Audubon Native Creeping Spikerush is native to
Picture of a Wood Duck
Picture of Mallard Ducks



  • Green, spikey foliage can reach upwards of 4' tall
  • From early summer to fall, inconspicuous greenish-brown flowers appear
  • After flowering, scaly, yellowish brown seedheads appear, attracting birds
  • Ideal in rain gardens, as water plants or along streams to renaturalize them
  • May Benefit & Attract: Waterfowl and ducks
  • 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
  • All Audubon® branded trees and plants are grown 100% Neonic-free by Bower & Branch, making these plants safer for the birds and safer for the environment.
  • Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
  • Ships in a plant-safe designed box

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8
  • Mature Height: 2-3' tall
  • Mature Width: 1-2' wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Spacing: 2' apart

Audubon® Native Creeping Spikerush

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Audubon® Plants for Birds: Eleocharis palustris

Regular price Still Growing
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Why plant Audubon® Native Creeping Spikerush?

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.

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.

How to use Audubon® Native Creeping Spikerush in the landscape?

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.

Why Bower & Branch?

We do the hard part. Our trees and plants are grown and cared for by only the best, local growers for years before they find their forever home in your landscape. Bower & Branch is known for having hard-to-find, substantial sizes and selection. The quality of our trees and plants are consistent in health and vigor—always ready for immediate impact in your garden and instant curb appeal. We believe in empowering homeowners with the truth about strong, healthy and structurally sound plants that are grown to perform in the ground after they leave the nursery for home delivery, always fresh inventory from the grower.

Audubon is devoted to protecting birds and the places they need, while Bower & Branch is devoted to the growth of true native trees and plants–no cultivars or hybrids. Together, we strive to unite communities in conservation and inspire individuals to cultivate a better world for birds starting in their own backyards, balconies, or patios. By guiding and recommending trees and plants truly native and beneficial to your region, we can really start to make a difference.

What is the definition of Native?

“In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European colonization. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money.” – The National Audubon Society

Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program.

Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.

How To Plant Audubon® Native Creeping Spikerush

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).

How To Water

Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.

How To Fertilize

Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.

How To Prune

Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

How Does Shipping Work?

Size Small (AAA), Medium (A2A), and Large (AA) plants (our Treelings, Shrubs, Bushes, and Perennials) will be shipped directly to your home by a common carrier. Ships in a plant-safe designed box within 5-7 business days.

Our Guarantees


Bower & Branch guarantees customer satisfaction within all product groups and sizes. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product or experience, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to request a replacement of the purchased product(s).


Reach out to a Plant Whisperer:

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- Phone: 866-873-3888

- Or via Online Chat

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