Carex riparia Curt.

441 (57). C. riparia Curt. Fl. Lond. IV (ca. 1783) tab. 60;. Vel. Fl.Bulg.(1891) 583; Kük. in Engl. Pflzr. IV, 20 (1909) 735; Hayek Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. III (1933) 192; Ахтаров Родът Carex в България (1957) 131 — Брегова острица

Fam:   Cyperaceae J. St. Hill.
Genus:   Carex L.
Species: Carex riparia Curt.
English Name: Greater pond sedge


Perennial gray-green plant with thick, rather long underground creeping shoots. Stems (40) 60 - 120 (200) cm high, sharply triangular, rough in the upper part, at the base covered by almost bare, brownish or reddish-brown vaginas. Leaf leaf blades hard, flat, broadly linear, 4 - 16 mm wide, naked, with pronounced longitudinal and transverse veins. The inflorescence consists of 5 - 10 spikelets, the upper ones close together, the lower ones far apart. Bracts leaf-like, without vaginas, the lowest bracts exceed the inflorescence. Upper 2 - 3 (5) spiklets male, close up, thickly cylindrical, 2 - 6 cm long, with lance and sharp, maroon roof cover flakes. The other spikelets are female, spaced, cylindrical, 2 - 10 cm long and up to 1 cm thick, erect, the lower ones on thick and smooth petioles, up to 5 cm long, sometimes the female spikelets horizontally spread or even drooping. Their cover flakes are lance, with a pointed and serrated tip at the end, black-brown, in the middle with a light green stripe and 3 veins, shorter than the fruit sacs. Stigma 3. Fruit sacs 5 - 6 mm long, brown olive green, skinny, ovoid-conical, swollen three-walled, with numerous, strongly convex veins, rounded at the base, gradually narrowed to the top in a short, smooth and spreading two-toothed nose. The fruit is small, back ovoid, triangular nut.


forma riparia; forma typica Beck Fl. Nied.-Öster. (1890) 143. The cover flakes of the fruit sacs are gradually pointed and as long as them. Stem 60 - 150 cm high. Northern and Southern Bulgaria.
forma gracilescens (Hartra.) Aschers. et Graebn. Son. II, 2 (1903) 216; Hayek Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. III (1933) 192; C. riparia var. gracilescens Hartm. ex Anderss. Cyp. (1849) 16 fig. 110 b. Female spikelets on long, often bent petioles. Southern Bulgaria (Sadovo).
forma humilis Uechtriz. Fiek Fl. Schies. (1881) 492. Stem 40 - 50 cm high. Leaves 3 - 6 mm wide. Female spikelets usually 2, sessile or on short petioles. Northern Bulgaria - Sevlievo, Sredna Gora, Samokov, Rhodopes.
form aristata Aschers. et Graebn. Son. II, 2 (1903) 216. The covering scales in the female spikelets extended in the awn, to times longer than the fruit sacs. Northeastern and Southern Bulgaria.

General distribution. All of Europe (including the Balkan Peninsula), the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Eastern and Western Siberia (up to Lake Baikal), North Africa.

From:   „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том II, БАН, София, (1964)

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Carex riparia, the greater pond sedge, is a species of sedge found across Europe and Asia. It grows in a variety of wet habitats, and can be a dominant species in some swamps. It is Britain's largest Carex, growing up to 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) tall, with glaucous leaves up to 160 cm (5 ft 3 in) long. It hybridises with a number of other Carex species, including the closely related Carex acutiformis – the lesser pond sedge. A variegated cultivar is grown as an ornamental grass.

Distribution and habitat

Carex riparia has a broad distribution over Europe and Western and Central Asia, with isolated occurrences in North Africa.[1] It can form large stands along slow-flowing rivers, canals, on the edges of lakes, and in wet woodland.[2] It may be the dominant species in swamps, especially if there is standing water in spring, and is also found in tall-herb fens, alongside Carex acutiformis, Carex acuta and other similar species.[3]


Carex riparia was first described by William Curtis in his 1783 work Flora Londinensis.[Note 1][1] It is easily confused with Carex acutiformis, the lesser pond sedge, but can be told apart by its greater number of male spikes, which grow close together at the top of the culm.[3]
The leaves of C. riparia are up to 160 centimetres (63 in) long by 6–20 millimetres (0.24–0.79 in) wide, glaucous, and narrowing at the tip to a trigonous point.[3] The stems are 60–130 cm (24–51 in) tall, rough, and sharply triangular in section,[3] making C. riparia Britain's largest species of Carex.[4] They bear 1–5 female spikes, each nearly cylindrical and generally overlapping with the next, and 3–6 more densely arranged male spikes.[3] Each female spike is 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, often with some male flowers at the tip, while male spikes are 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) long.[3] The fruits of C. riparia are utricles, 5–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) long, with an inflated ovoid shape. They taper to a distinct, bifid beak, which bears three stigmas.[3]
Carex riparia is known to hybridise with a number of other sedge species, including Carex acutiformis (forming Carex × sooi), C. lasiocarpa (forming C. × evoluta), C. rostrata (forming C. × beckmanniana), C. vesicaria (forming C. × csomadensis), C. elata and C. flacca.[3]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: V - VI.

Distribution in Bulgaria: It grows in swampy places, along rivers and in swampy places in the lowlands and valleys up to 1000 m altitude in all parts of the country. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: All of Europe (including the Balkan Peninsula), the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Eastern and Western Siberia (up to Lake Baikal), North Africa.
Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: no, it is not - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том II, БАН, София, (1964), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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