False Fox–sedge - Carex otrubae
Family - Cyperaceae

False Fox-sedge - Carex otrubae, click for a larger image CCASA3.0
Photo ©2007 Fabelfroh
Click photo for a larger image

A densely tufted perennial plant of wet habitats and heavy soils growing to between 60–90cm (24–35in) usually on stream sides and ponds, ditches, swamps, wet lowland meadows, pastures and coastal areas.  Very common in the UK although loss of habitat and wetland drainage has caused some local declines, in Scotland it is more a coastal plant.  Flower spikes of interrupted star–shaped inflorescences near the top of a triangular stem up to a metre high.

They are of varying colours but usually green on the outer edges, merging from cream into brown in the centres, are seen from June through to August.  Pointed ligules stick out further than the flowers.  They mature to untidy stacked spiky fruits 3–5cm long or more.  The long narrow dark green leaves are 4–10mm (0.16–0.4in) wide.  The stacked nature of the interrupted inflorescences is more easily discerned on more mature specimens.  Easily confused with True Fox Sedge – Carex vulpina, but that is stouter and has sharply angled concave stems, whereas the stems of False Fox Sedge have flat sides.

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