West Highland Flora

Common Spike-rush


Eleocharis palustris

 

Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
31 May 2003 Storr, Skye
Spike 11 mm high

Common in wet ground and loch edges

Spike c 5-20 mm.  Plant to 60 cm high in water, usually much smaller on land.

ID: Topmost stem sheath cut off at an angle nearer to flat than to 45 (pic below right).  Basal 2 glumes clearly different from the others, being smaller, green in the middle, and each half-encircling the base of the spike.  E uniglumis has just one such basal glume, almost completely encircling the spike base.  Examine several to be sure which species it is.

Other features: Spreads by creeping rhizomes, putting up individual stems in the first year and small tufts the next.  Basal 2 glumes do not contain a flower.  Two stigmas per flower (clearly seen in pic on left), a feature it shares with E uniglumis, the other two Skye spike-rushes having three.

Our plants are subspecies vulgaris.

 

Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
2 Jul 2003 Coulnacraggan, Skye

 

Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
31 May 2003 Storr, Skye
Stem 1.6 mm wide

Uppermost sheath with
almost straight cut-off

 

Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
2 Jul 2003 River Snizort, Skye
Spike c 7 mm long ex anthers

  Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
2 Jul 2003 Coulnacraggan, Skye

 

Eleocharis palustris

Photo Carl Farmer
2 Jul 2003 Coulnacraggan, Skye


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