categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

PENDULOUS SEDGE

Carex pendula

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

Flowers:
month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june
Fruit:
fruit8Jun fruit8June fruit8Jul fruit8July

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8white
type
typeZcatkins
stem
stem8round

9th June 2009m Blackleach Resr, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 2m high in damp woods or beside streams or freshwater especially on heavy clay soils.


9th June 2009m Blackleach Resr, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The several flowering catkins near the end droop downwards, hence the name scientific pendula.


10th May 2013, woods, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A new plant, not fully grown.


17th Aug, 2007, Cromford Canal, Ambergate, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Light-green shiny leaves about 8-20mm wide, linear, and curve over.


16th April 2009, River Ribble, Great Mitton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
  The topmost one or two catkins are male and between 55-160mm long the rest, usually numbering 4 or 5, are female and between 50 to 250mm long.


16th April 2009, River Ribble, Great Mitton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The male catkins are thicker and have long cream-coloured awns at first, which fall off at the tip first. A second male catkin is just emerging (top right).
 The female catkins are thinner; two are visible in the photo lower right.


10th May 2013, woods, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
 The long awns are a cream colour.


10th May 2013, woods, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
 The female catkins have thin white glumes and beetroot coloured white-edged awns.


16th April 2009, River Ribble, Great Mitton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The awns turn brownish later.


7th June 2008, canal feeder conduit, Rushton Spencer, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
 The fruits are green at first turning brown with vestiges of the glumes still attached.


7th June 2008, canal feeder conduit, Rushton Spencer, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
 The fruits on the ends of the female catkins presumably drop off starting from the extremity?


17th Aug, 2007, Cromford Canal, Ambergate, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The shiny leaves have a very characterisingly deep V-shape lengthways groove for stiffness. They are yellowish-green above, but glaucous green beneath. This deep V-groove itself is enough to identify this plant even without the flowers.


Slight resemblance to : Hop Sedge (Carex pseudocyperus) which also has (slightly) drooping catkins at the far end, but the furthest male is thinner and usually single whereas the thicker and more numerous female spikes are greenish. Both kinds of catkins droop less and are shorter than those of Pendulous Sedge. The stems of Hop Sedge are also triangular in cross-section (rather that round). It forms tussocks in shallow water, but they are not as huge as those of Greater Tussock-sedge (Carex paniculata), where the leaves also differ in being much narrower.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The long drooping catkins atop a single round stem up to 2m in length. The leaves also have an identifyingly deep V-shaped cross-section and are a yellowish-green colour above, but glaucous below.

A distinctive plant often planted in gardens as an ornamental. It likes heavy clayey soils near water or in damp woods.


  Carex pendula  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

Distribution
 family8Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush family8Cyperaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Carex
Carex
(Sedges)

PENDULOUS SEDGE

Carex pendula

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]