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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!

07 January, 2017

Carex pseudocyperus: the cyperus sedge



Not all sedges are dull and boring, well actually I do not think any are. Some are attractive, elegant plants and are planted around garden ponds as an additional feature. The cyperus sedge (Carex pseudocyperus) is one of these.
Cyperus sedge can grow to around four feet tall. It has glossy, bright, yellowish green leaves that are thin, pointed and ribbed. From amongst the leaves a 'flower' spike emerges and in July or August upon which four or five large catkin-like flowers develop, each on the end of its own thin stalk. These 'flowers' are the female flowers and are quite large and furry and dangle downwards. The top-most flower on the plant is the male flower which is thinner and more pointed. The male flowers being above the female flowers enables self-pollination but, in general, the pollen needed comes in on the breeze from neighbouring plants. The large, dangling female flowers give the plant its other name, the hop sedge.
Cyperus sedge is quite common near fresh water ponds, ditches and even swamps; they do not like acidic conditions though.
Carex pseudocyperus: the cyperus sedge