categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

LESSER POND-SEDGE

Carex acutiformis

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

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category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8brown
flower
flower8orange
inner
inner8cream
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8triangular

8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Forms tufts or tussocks. Growing to 1.5m it is actually slightly taller than the 1.3m height of Greater Pond-Sedge. But it does have smaller spikes than does Greater Pond-Sedge.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
The inflorescence reaches higher than most leaves, but is usually topped by the lowest bract.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Male inflorescences on top, female spikes thinner and below them.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
The bract to emerge from the lowest part usually reaches higher than the inflorescence.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
These infloresences are not yet ripe, their anthers and stigmas still to emerge. Here there are at least 3 male spikes, and below them 3 thinner and longer female spikes, although their numbers vary.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Male spikes, here very dark-brown. Some seem to take on a triangular cross-section. The top part of a female spike is below. They too are not yet ripe.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Male inflorescences.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Male inflorescence, a little damaged showing the anthers, pale-green at first.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
The male spikes will turn a striking orange in another month or so.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
A female spike. Much thinner initially, but also longer.


8th April 2017, St. Helens Canal, Blackbrook basin. Photo: © RWD
Female spike, as yet unripe.


Not to be semantically confused with : Pondweeds (Potomogeton) species, of which there are many [a plant with similar name]

Hybridizes only rarely with : Greater Pond-Sedge (Carex riparia) Also with :

  • Bladder-sedge (Carex vesicaria) to produce Carex × ducellieri which was found in South Hants in 1986
  • Slender Tufted-sedge (Carex acuta) to produce Carex × subgracilis which has been found in scattered places in England and Wales and with flowers with both 2 and 3 stigmas on the same flowering spike.

It grows either in the shallower parts of ponds or beside ponds, streams, and on marshes, wet meadows or swamps. It is common throughout the lowland parts of Britain and Ireland except North and Central Scotland, South and West Ireland, and South-West England. It is native to the UK.


  Carex acutiformis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

Distribution
 family8Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush family8Cyperaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Carex
Carex
(Sedges)

LESSER POND-SEDGE

Carex acutiformis

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]