West Highland Flora

Beaked Tasselweed


Ruppia maritima

 

Ruppia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
27 Sep 2003 Portree, Skye
2nd fruit stalk from left (out of the cluster of 4 pointing to top of pic) 2.5 cm

Occasional in brackish water

Leaves c 4-11 cm long.  Fruits c 2.3 x 1.5 mm, on individual stalks c 5-35 mm long, their common stalk c 10-25 mm long.

ID: In fruit, could only be mistaken for Spiral Tasselweed.  Note that in both species the stalks lengthen while the fruit is forming.  In flower the carpels which later become the fruits are not individually stalked and are shared between just 2 flowers, each of which has 2 stamens and no petals or sepals.  Told from Spiral T by the mature fruit stalks not being coiled into spirals.  Also the fruit is very assymetrical in this species, but not or slightly so in Spiral T.  When not in fruit the species are difficult to tell apart but Beaked T has 3-5 carpels per flower (2-8 in Spiral), and tends to have the leaf narrowing to a pointed tip whereas Spiral usually has the leaf parallel sided to within its own breadth of the tip, which is rounded.

Other features: Forms mats in saltmarsh pools which are fed by both fresh and sea water.  Leaves thread-like, < 1 mm wide, toothed near the tip only.

 

Ruppia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
27 Sep 2003 Portree, Skye
 

Typical appearance; even when in fruit most of what you see is leaves and stems like this.

 

Ruppia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
20 Sep 2003 Portree, Skye
Ruler divisions are 1 mm

 

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