Keith Barnett

Eleogiton fluitans, the Floating Club-rush, is a native aquatic perennial with bright green grass-like leaves, usually found floating in dense mats in still water, mostly on acidic soil. Although it is nationally 'fairly frequent throughout British Isles, commoner in W' (Stace 1991), in Worcestershire it is many years since it could be described, as it was by Amphlett in 1909, as 'not uncommon' in the county. Indeed, it could not be found (W A Thompson/K Barnett) in July this year in its last known county site on Hartlebury Common, and was feared lost.

In the picture A=flower, B=glume, C=nut,
D=spikelet. Eleogiton fluitans

It is pleasing, therefore, to have a report that during a Worcs BRC Field Meeting on Castlemorton Common (SO73) 10th August 2002, W Watson had noticed a sizeable patch of Eleogiton fluitans in a small pond at the eastern end of the Common. This important find was subsequently confirmed by John Day. The location doubtless broadly corresponds with that formerly known as 'Welland Common' from where it was known by Lees in the 19th century.

The Eleogiton site is typical of the many small, botanically rich ponds on Castlemorton Common, some of which contain scarce or rare plants. With the Eleogiton were growing Apium inundatum (Lesser Marshwort), Lythrum portula (Water Purslane) and Veronica scutellata (Marsh Speedwell). In or beside other ponds on the Common can be found Ranunculus peltatus (Pond Water-crowfoot), Ranunculus trichophyllus (Thread-leaved Water-crowfoot) and Oenanthe fistulosa (Tubular Water-dropwort). In one depression which often dries out in summer are Persicaria minor (Small Water Pepper), Centaurium pulchellum (Lesser Centaury) and - discovered on a BSBI Field Meeting led by R Maskew in 1991 - Anagallis minima (Chaffweed). This had been believed to be long extinct in the county, having last been recorded by Lees in the 19th century from a Common now beneath the Birmingham urban sprawl.

STACE C 1991. New Flora of Britain CUP
AMPHLETT, J & REA, C 1909. The Botany of Worcestershire.
LEES, E 1867 The Botany of Worcestershire

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