categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

TAWNY SEDGE

Carex hostiana

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
inner
inner8brown
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8triangular
sex
sexZmonoecious

9th June 2018, ex-rly, Waitby Greenriggs, Kirby Stephen, Yorks. Photo: © RWD
Grows to 65cm high in loosely-tufted gatherings. The roots are short and rhizomatous.


9th June 2018, ex-rly, Waitby Greenriggs, Kirby Stephen, Yorks. Photo: © RWD
The lowest bract, which has a long sheath, (one is on the plant second from the right at the bottom) is shorter than the inflorescence (but only because the flower spikes are very widely separated; the last being several inches down the stem from the long but narrower male inflorescence at the top!).


9th June 2018, ex-rly, Waitby Greenriggs, Kirby Stephen, Yorks. Photo: © RWD
The inflorescence starts at the summit with a long spike of male flowers (more than one on some specimens). A distance below that is the first female flower spike with a bract beneath it which overtops that flower. Much further down the stem is another female flower with an even longer bract (which may be sheathed) just below that. [There may be a third female flower with a bract some distance below that too]. The leaves are between 2 to 5mm wide and yellowish green


9th June 2018, ex-rly, Waitby Greenriggs, Kirby Stephen, Yorks. Photo: © RWD
The stems are smooth to the touch and bulged-triangular in cross-section, with one side being slightly narrower than the other two as in an isosceles bulged-triangle. The stem may also be slightly keeled with a narrow ridge down it, as in the specimen above.

On this specimen, there is a long brown male spike at the top (as usual) but the female spike below that with green fruits also has a (shorter) male spike associated with it.



9th June 2018, ex-rly, Waitby Greenriggs, Kirby Stephen, Yorks. Photo: © RWD
The other side of the stem is more rounded. There is a sheathed bract emerging from some way below this female inflorescence.


Although native it is rare in the British lowlands. It prefers base-rich wet flushes in bogs, or calcareous fens, mires, marshes, and valley bogs or wet rock ledges in the mountains. It also occurs near the sea.


  Carex hostiana  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

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

TAWNY SEDGE

Carex hostiana

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]