Eleocharis parvula (common name hair grass / hairgrass) is an extremely versatile and useful plant. It may be used to great affect by itself to form a grassy carpet: a very dense lawn like effect may be achieved in 6 – 8 weeks from planting.
It is also very useful when planted sparsely around the edges of rocks and other hardscape and produces a ‘softening’ effect when used in this way, particularly in an Iwagumi style aquascape – read more about Iwagumi’s in our article Iwagumi Aquacapes: An Introdcution.
A unique feature of this plant is that if it is cut short before it is planted then it tends to stay short when it grows in and becomes established. Conversely if it is left in its longer state it will carry on growing in a longer form.
For this reason Eleocharis parvula may be graded with the longer form being placed to the rear of the tank and the shorter ‘cut’ form being planted near the front and sides. Use of the plant in this way is extremely effective in the smaller and ‘nano’ aquaria where a great sense of scale may be achieved with proper use.
Eleocharis parvula is a plant that is not particularly demanding and is fairly tolerant of lower levels of light although the addition of CO2 will, as with most plants, increase growth dramatically.