Carex caryophyllea: the spring sedge

One tends to think of sedges as liking a damp habitat, wet meadows or the edges of ponds and the like but this is not always the case. There are exceptions to this rule and spring sedge (Carex caryophyllea) is certainly one of them as it is primarily a species of dry grassland where the turf is short, often on calcareous soils. In Dorset it is also common on the acid soil of the heaths.
Low growing, it has a rather compact yet elongated, almost pear-shaped, flower head with the tip being white (or sometimes pale yellow). In some ways this sedge is similar to a plantain flower but the leaves are very different being thin and wiry. It is, in my view, one of the easier sedges to name.
Called spring sedge because it is in 'flower' in May and June.
Carex caryophyllea: the spring sedge

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