Wednesday, 5 May 2021

(Slightly Less) Rare Spring-Sedge

Rare Spring Sedge (Carex ericetorum) is an early flowering and easily overlooked sedge of short, species-rich calcareous grassland, often growing with the similar looking Spring Sedge (C. caryophyllea). In Britain it is mainly confined to East Anglia (Breckland), limestones around Morecambe Bay and the ‘upland’ limestones of Westmorland and Teesdale (Walker and Stroh, 2015).

Photo by Mick Lacey (

There are a scatter of records for this species from relicts of species-rich grassland along the ridge of magnesian limestone that passes through Yorkshire to the east of Leeds. Many of these records are old and even the more recent ones have relatively poor grid references (quite hopeless really for informing searches for this little species). So it has been great that Kevin Walker has been working his way around many of these sites over the last 10 years or so, doing much to improve the records in the BSBI database. His latest find, made last year but only just reported, is from Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve where it was last seen in 1959. Kevin has searched here several times before, underlying the challenge in finding this plant when you don't know exactly where to look.

Breaking News - and adding to the above Kevin and Kay McDowell found 130 plants of 5th May at Ledsham Banks. A great count.

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