DWARF SPIKE-RUSH (Eleocharis parvula)- confirmed sighting!

It’s hardly any surprise, given its extremely muddy habitat, that this plant – the Dwarf Spike-Rush or Eleocharis parvula, is a rarity in the UK and that the Avon is the only place in Devon where the species has been reported.  One wonders whether many people would bother looking!

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that on our third attempt to re-discover the plant in the Bridge End area at AG, Gordon Waterhouse, Nigel Mortimer (South Devon AONB Unit) and myself, in the expert company of Roger Smith, the Royal Botanical Society’s official recorder for South Devon, and Andy Byfield from Plantlife (a wild plant conservation charity) managed to find a couple of small patches.   This highly inconspicuous plant appears to be at the limit of its survival range for salinity and is at risk from being swamped by sloppy mud but we can certify that  it is present on our river, this year!  

Our photographic evidence is not very persuasive as our equipment was not sufficiently sophisticated to capture good images of the plant.  However, we do have some good shots of the mud and of a typically enthusiastic Gordon wandering around in it –  minus his trousers!

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