BSBI sedges meeting, Cumbria (2014)

This was a splendid day out with a large group of enthusiastic botanists.  It rained more or less all day but that didn’t dampen our spirits at all, as there was so much to see at our chosen study site, Roudsea Woods and Mosses NNR, in south Cumbria.  We scored 25 species and hybrids of sedges on the day.  Yes, 25 kinds of sedges in one place.  It’s quite an amazing site, though, with everything from saltmarsh to fen to woodland to limestone grassland.

saltmarsh viewThe big lure was the opportunity to see Carex x alsatica, the hybrid between Carex flava (large yellow-sedge) and Carex demissa (common yellow-sedge).  Personally I was just happy to see Carex flava, as this was a new species to me, and a spectacular one, quite different from its smaller relatives.  In the picture below, Carex flava is on the left and Carex x alsatica on the right.  Can you see the bluish colour of the hybrid ?

Carex flava (L) with Carex x alsatica (R)

This was undoubtedly the most exotic sedge of the day, but many others were nice if not quite as photogenic, including Carex pallescens, Carex digitata and Carex elongata.  In a place like Roudsea it’s easy to be distracted by the other nice plants present, and we allowed ourselves a few moments to appreciate the fun things: Sorbus lancastriensis, royal fern Osmunda regalis, Thalictrum flavum and Isolepis setacea.  As it was raining, my photos are even worse than usual but here’s a flavour of the day:

royal fernslow worm under tin 2014-06-07 14.37.58

Now that’s what I call a smashing day out 🙂

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