West Highland Flora

Glaucous Sedge


Carex flacca

 

Carex flacca

Photo Carl Farmer
1 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

Frequent in a range of habitats including grassland, moorland, bare ground and upper edge of saltmarsh.

Female spikes c 2-4 cm long, c 4-6 mm wide.

ID: Stem leaves green above, glaucous beneath.  Most stems have 2 male spikes, close together and often looking like one at first glance.  Fruit 2-2.5 mm, roundish, with a very short beak, under 0.3 mm.  Fruit densely packed on the spike, not loose and gappy like C panicea

Other features: Lowest bract about as long as inflorescence on average.  Female spikes typically 2, can be short-stalked and upright, or longer-stalked and nodding.

 

Carex flacca

Photo Carl Farmer
1 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

The next 3 pictures are all of the same plant.  In the first you can just make out the 2 dark grey male spikes pointing up into the top right corner.  The 2 nodding female spikes contrast with the 2 erect female spikes in the top picture on this page.  The close-up of the male spike shows the brown stamens on their slender filaments, and shows the tip of the smaller male spike to the left.  The female spike close-up shows the fruits with the 3 stigmas still attached.  Carex nigra, which also has glaucous leaves and black glumes, has 2 stigmas per fruit.  Its glumes are jet black, whereas those of C flacca are dark purplish grey.

Carex flacca

Photo Carl Farmer
30 May 2004 Portree, Skye
Lower female spike c 2.7 cm long

  Carex flacca

Photo Carl Farmer
30 May 2004 Portree, Skye
Male spike c 3 mm wide at thickest, excl stamens

 

Carex flacca

Photo Carl Farmer
30 May 2004 Portree, Skye
Spike c 2.7 cm long


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