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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!

15 May, 2016

Carex flacca: the glaucous sedge

It may seem a little paradoxical but glaucous sedge (Carex flacca) is one of our most insignificant sedges and yet one of the most conspicuous and easily identified! The leaves grow to no more than a few inches high and the spikelet (flower) is often less than six inches tall so why is it easy to spot and easy to identify? 
Firstly, where it grows it is often very common with the turf layer holding lots of plants in close proximity. Add to this the distinctive grey (glaucous) leaves and the effect is quite noticeable, the turf turns greyish green. Just to add to the effect the spikelets are deep purple verging on black and stand out against the colour of the turf.
Glaucous sedge is wide spread across Dorset and can be found on damp soils on grasslands, meadows, dunes, fens and even the heaths although it is perhaps more common on calcareous soils than it is on acid ones.
Carex flacca: the glaucous sedge