Eleocharis Acicularis (Hair Grass)
This is one of my favourite versatile water garden plants. Also known as Needle Spike Rush, Hair Grass is attractive and adaptable to a large range of different conditions. It’s a terrestrial plant meaning that it grows under the water and above and it will thrive and colonise into bright green, dense mats that resemble underwater lawns. This lovely plant is very adaptable and will carpet the bottom of ponds, lakes etc growing to a water depth of 60cm, creeping up low under water gradient slopes and then out the water into muddy margins. If grown under the water it will grow to a height of 15cm, but will adapt to a lower height of 5cm when growing in moist conditions.
In the wild, it can be found growing all over the northern hemisphere and Australia. Hair Grass naturally favours clay and silt bottomed ponds but will also grow quite happily in wet meadows, marsh lands, slow moving streams and lakes and their muddy margins
Uses in the Water Garden
Needle Spike Rush is one of the most useful plants for all water gardeners as it is one of the best oxygenating plants and a good nitrate remover therefore, essential as a prevention treatment for different types of algae and blanket weed. For an even greater result for achieving that Chrystal clear water, below are the names of a couple of plants that when planted alongside Hair Grass, will give you a really good result.
Established carpets of Hair Grass make excellent hiding places for all under water wildlife. The dense mats are a favoured spawning ground for Frogs, Newts and many types of fish. For that reason, Hair Grass is widely used to cover the bottom of tropical and fresh water aquariums, and therefore, just as popular to aquarium hobbyists as it is to all water gardeners.
Lastly, when Hair Grass adapts out of the water it puts on a magnificent display of seed heads throughout the summer. Please see the photo to the right.
HATS OFF TO HAIR GRASS!