West Highland Flora

Pill Sedge

Carex pilulifera


Photo Carl Farmer
31 Jul 2004 Storr, Skye
Picture c 3.3 cm high

Frequent on moorland and acid grassland or bare ground.

Stems to c 30 cm high.  Fruit c 2.5-3 mm long including beak c 0.3-0.5 mm.  Female spikes c 5-8 mm long

ID: 1 male spike, normally 2-3 female spikes.  Fruits hairy - easily seen with a 10x lens.  Bract of lowest female spike arises directly from stem without a sheath (Spring Sedge has a sheath there).  Told from Slender Sedge by fruit size - the latter has fruit c 3-5 mm with beak c 0.5-1 mm, grows in very wet places and has notably long slender leaves.

Other features: Often very floppy.  Leaves a rather yellowish green, the highest usually low on the stem.  Lowest bract longer than its spike, but usually shorter than the whole infloresence.  Fruit has a distinct broad stalk at base.

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