West Highland Flora

Floating Bur-reed


Sparganium angustifolium

 

Sparganium angustifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
6 Aug 2003 Dunvegan, Skye

Frequent in lochs, both upland and lowland.  The commonest Bur-reed

Stems to 150 cm, only the flowering part above water.  Leaves typically 4 mm wide halfway along their length and up to 200 cm long, arising from base or from stem and floating on surface.  Fruiting heads c 10-20 cm across

ID: Flowering stem has typicallly 2-4 female heads below 1-2 male heads; if 2, the male heads are close together and appear as one.  (in pic on left the top heads with long white stamens are male, the others female)  Bract of lowest female head at least twice as long as the whole inflorescence (choose a plant with at least 3 female heads)

Other features: The very long floating leaves are a common sight in lochs, often covering parts of the loch surface,.  The leaves are triangular in cross-section in the lower half, but flat near the tip.  The stem-leaves and flowerhead-bracts have inflated sheathing bases.

 

Sparganium angustifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2003 Portree, Skye

  Sparganium angustifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2003 Portree, Skye
 

Male and female heads in flower   Female heads in fruit and male heads withering

 

Sparganium angustifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2003 Portree, Skye

 

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