Carex riparia: the greater pond sedge

Pond sedges are quite easy to recognise as they tend to be quite big plants that grow in lakes, ponds and swamps but distinguishing between greater and lesser pond sedge is a bit more difficult. They both favour the same habitats and are both common. Funnily enough, it seems lesser pond sedge is some 20cm taller than greater pond sedge so size is not a good guide either!
The greater pond sedge (Carex riparia) has more flowering spikes than the lesser and the leaves are usually much broader. The greater pond sedge flowers earlier in the year too so there are some things to go on but they are not easy if, like me, you are not an accomplished botanist!
Carex riparia: the greater pond sedge

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