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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!

10 April, 2016

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