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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

20 September, 2015

Reed Sweet-grass: not the common reed but a common grass

Reed sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima) is a tall, waterside grass found by freshwater lakes and ponds, slow moving rivers and in ditches. It is quite common and until you know it even exists it would be easy to assume this is the common reed, Phragmites.  Once you know then the differences are quite obvious.
Firstly, reed sweet-grass does not grow as tall as the common reed and it does not form such large, dense patches. The flower heads are much greener than common reed and actually are formed quite differently if you compare the two. The flowers are in full flow in July and August. The leaves are narrower and there is a brown mark on the stem by the leaf junction. 
I can find no explanation as to why it is called sweet-grass but

Read more: Reed Sweet-grass: not the common reed but a common grass