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Rhynchospora alba: the white-beak sedge

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Rhynchospora alba: the white-beak sedge

Venture into the wetter areas of the Dorset heaths and one of the most common species of sedge you will find is the white-beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba). Nationally this is quite a scarce plant as its preferred habitat of acid myre is not that widespread at low levels and so this is more common on the mountains and moors up north.

Where it grows it is usually in large colonies and the masses of green shoots each bearing white beak-shaped flowers is a lovely sight. Apart from the much rarer brown beak-sedge you cannot really confuse this species with any others, it is quite unique in appearance.

I cannot recall a wet heath I have visited in Dorset where this does not occur so, if you are an enthusiastic and budding botanist put your wellies on and go hunting!



This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon