categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

PILL SEDGE

Carex pilulifera

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8brown
flower
flower8green
inner
inner8cream
petals
petalsZ0
stem
stem8triangular
sex
sexZmonoecious

19th May 2013, Bramshott Common, Liphook, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Stems triangular but thin, up to 30cm long usually with a curve.


21st May 2005, Grammars Common, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
These specimens still have a curve despite lying about on the ground. Grass-like leaves are 1.5 to 2mm wide.


19th May 2013, Bramshott Common, Liphook, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Inflorescences clustered. There are between 2 to 4 short female spikes below the narrower single male spikes at the top. The lowest bract (on the left) is longer than the spike just above it.


19th May 2013, Bramshott Common, Liphook, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The petalless flowers still have the withered remnants of the stigmas on the female spikes below. These are already beginning to turn into the fruits. The spikes are 4 to 8mm long. The female glumes are 3 to 3.5mm long, reddish-brown with an acute apex.
The much tidier male spike at the top has drooping anthers.


19th May 2013, Bramshott Common, Liphook, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The fruits, which can be seen growing within the glumes with the remains of the styles atop, will be 3 to 3.5mm long, ovoid in shape, and hairy at the tip. The fruits appear June to July after flowering in May to June.


21st May 2005, Grammars Common, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
A specimen on a white plate. The lowest bract is hidden behind the lowest female spike, but its top can clearly be seen above that, and it is indeed longer than its associated spike.


Not to be semantically confused with : Pillwort (Pilularia globulifera) [a plant with similar name in a totally different family]

Some similarities to : Spring Sedge (Carex caryophyllea)

It is native and grows on acid grassland, heaths and moorland and hill pasture or barish places either in the open or within woods up to 1140m on base-poor or peaty soils, occurring throughout the British Isles. The leaves are a paler green especially if growing on acid soils.


  Carex pilulifera  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

Distribution
 family8Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush family8Cyperaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Carex
Carex
(Sedges)

PILL SEDGE

Carex pilulifera

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]