Friday 25 August 2017

Watch out for subspecies of Sparganium erectum

Sparganium erectum subsp.
microcarpum on the Ripon Canal
Image: M. Wilcox
Yorkshire botanist Mike Wilcox has been in touch to suggest that we keep an eye open for subspecies of Branched Bur-reed.

He thinks that "The subspecies in Branched Bur-reed Sparganium erectum are likely to be under-recorded. There may be some distributional differences but without more detailed studies this is difficult to assess. Later in the season when there are fewer plants around to record, these plants should be in fruit. They can be peeled off and placed in small paper packets with the details on. Let’s get collecting and Sparganium spotting for Atlas2020!"

To help you separate the subspecies of Sparganium erectum, download our helpful crib sheet on the BSBI Identification page here. It features drawings of the four subspecies by BSBI aquatics expert Richard Lansdown. 

If you find any interesting fruits, you can email Mike at and post the fruits as directed above to: M. Wilcox, 43 Roundwood Glen, Greengates, Bradford, BD10 0HW.

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