West Highland Flora

Marestail


Hippuris vulgaris

 

Hippuris vulgaris

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Aug 2004 Teangue, Skye
RH stem c 9 cm from water-surface to tip

In muddy pools and edges of lochs.  Scarce, but more frequent in Argyll.

Aerial part of stem up to c 20 cm high, submerged stems can be much longer.

ID: Leaves in whorls of c 6-12, flat, linear, blue-green, smooth.  Stem round in cross-section.

Other features: Stems often red.  Flowers tiny, green, in leaf-axils, often absent.  Some submerged stems can be flaccid, horizontal and long-trailing, with leaf-whorls more spaced.  Others grow upwards until they break the water surface and become aerial stems.  Only the aerial stems bear flowers.

Horsetails, which are often called Marestails (especially Field Horsetail), look superficially similar, but have branches (not leaves) in whorls, angular, not flat, and with sheaths along their length.  Bedstraw species such as Goosegrass have whorled leaves but these are dark green without the smooth shiny look of Marestail, and the stems are four-angled.

 

Hippuris vulgaris

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Aug 2004 Teangue, Skye
Picture = c 26 mm wide

  Hippuris vulgaris

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Aug 2004 Teangue, Skye

 

Hippuris vulgaris

Photo Carl Farmer
13 Aug 2004 Teangue, Skye


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