The hairgrass family is very diverse and extremely widespread, occurring all over the world in nearly all climates. If you look around in the proper terrain where you live, you will be sure to find some species of Eleocharis. Some species are quite specific to very small areas, while others, such as Eleocharis acicularis, also known as "needle spikerush", have been documented from Florida to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. All species seem to be quite comfortable growing emersed, but which are the best size or which will succeed submersed in the aquarium could be a matter of trial and error. Eleocharis vivipara, also known as "viviparous spikerush", has a native range most thickly centered in central and northern Florida, with scattered sightings in the few coastal states both north and west of Florida. E. baldwinii, or "Baldwin's spikerush", shares almost the exact same range as E. vivipara, but seems to be more thickly spread within that range, covering more of the area. The species of hairgrass/spikerush native (or introduced) in North America are far too numerous to list here, and the differences between some species may be too minute to concern the aquarium hobbyist, but rest assured you can likely go out and find a serviceable species in your own neck of the woods. Some species of Eleocharis are protected and listed as "Endangered" or even "possibly extirpated" in some states, so make yourself aware of the species in your area and their statuses if you decide to go collecting.
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