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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!

22 May, 2016

Rhynchospora alba: the white-beak sedge

Venture into the wetter areas of the Dorset heaths and one of the most common species of sedge you will find is the white-beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba). Nationally this is quite a scarce plant as its preferred habitat of acid myre is not that widespread at low levels and so this is more common on the mountains and moors up north.
Where it grows it is usually in large colonies and the masses of green shoots each bearing white beak-shaped flowers is a lovely sight. Apart from the much rarer brown beak-sedge you cannot really confuse this species with any others, it is quite unique in appearance.
I cannot recall a wet heath I have visited in Dorset where this does not occur so, if you are an enthusiastic and budding botanist put your wellies on and go hunting!
Rhynchospora alba: the white-beak sedge