West Highland Flora

Flea Sedge


Carex pulicaris

 

Carex pulicaris

Photo Carl Farmer
20 Aug 2002 Penifiler, Skye

Frequent in boggy ground, wet moorland and wet rock ledges, preferring alkaline conditions.

Fruit c 4-6 mm long.

ID: Has a single spike of which the top half is male and looks like a normal male sedge spike, while the lower half consists of about 3-10 well-separated female flowers/fruits, deflexed when ripe.  Can only be confused with Few-flowered Sedge which is similar but has normally only 2-3 fruits.  Flea Sedge has dark brown fruit, when ripe, and 2 stigmas, Few-flowered has yellowish fruit and 3 stigmas.  The rare Rock Sedge also has 3 stigmas, and its fruit are under 3.5 mm long and do not become deflexed.

Other features: Spike has no bract.  Glumes fall off fruit when ripe.  Leaves are thread-like and grooved.

 

Carex pulicaris

Photo Carl Farmer
31 May 2003 Storr, Skye
Total length of inflorescence = 2.6 cm

Before fruit has turned downwards and glumes fallen off

  Carex pulicaris

Photo Carl Farmer
23 May 2004 Suardal, Skye
Infl c 2.2 cm long


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