West Highland Flora

Many-stalked Spike-rush


Eleocharis multicaulis

 

Eleocharis multicaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
20 Aug 2002 Penifiler, Skye

Frequent in bogs and loch edges.

Spikelet c 7-15 mm long.  Stems c 15-35 cm tall.

ID: Stem leafless and bractless as in all spike-rushes.  The top sheath (the first thing you come to as you go down the stem, fairly near the base) is cut off very obliquely, making an angle of around 45 with the stem, and is pointed.  More than 10 flowers per spikelet.  Lowest glume about a quarter as long as the spikelet, not over half as long as in E quinqueflora.

Other features: Flowers are often viviparous (see pic below) which distinguishes it at once from other spike-rushes.  3 stigmas (E uniglumis and E palustris have 2)

 

Eleocharis multicaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Sep 2004 Sligachan, Skye
Brown spike c 11 mm long

  Eleocharis multicaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Sep 2001 Sligachan, Skye

Poor picture but shows
viviparous shoot from spikelet

 

Eleocharis multicaulis

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Sep 2004 Sligachan, Skye
Picture c 50 cm wide

Here the one viviparous stem in the clump has bent down to the water surface so that the young plantlets can float away.


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