Ptyxis Ecology - Our Botany Blog

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Blysmus bliss!

As you can see from my face, I was pleased to find Blysmus compressus (flat sedge) the other day when Clare and I looked for it at one of its previously known sites near where we live at Lambley, on the South Tyne river, Northumberland.

The river's edge habitat (which is regularly flooded) is apparently one of its typical habitats in Northumberland. There was a very big colony here - we estimated over 6,000 flowering spikes.

Flat sedge is a good name for it as the inflorescence is very flattened, which makes it fairly easy to separate from other sedges.

Close-up of Blysmus with its stigmas sticking out.

This is an uncommon species nationally with a real cluster of records around our part of the north of England as you can see from the BSBIs distribution map -

We were looking for this as part of the BSBI's threatened plant survey. Botanists all over Britian are going out searching old sites for 10 uncommon and declining species (including Blysmus) and recording detailed information and accurate grid references when they find it or reasons why it might have gone extinct when they don't find it.

In my view this is the best survey that BSBI has organised for a long time, but its a shame they are keeping it a secret. If you want to find out any more about it you will have to contact your county recorder.


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