This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is ditches and wet meadows, shallow water. The plant has the sedge habit. The stems are numerous, 3-sided, from a fibrous root, which is tufted. The plant is nearly prostrate. The leaves are grass-like, spreading, flat.
The rays are few, short, simple as a rule. The bracts are 3, leaf-like, unequal, broad below, curved and spreading-. The spikelets are crowded, slender, linear to lance-shaped, in small round heads or corymbs at the end of the branches. The glumes are numerous, spreading- at length, fuscous, the midrib broad or narrow, with green keels oblong to ovate. There are 3 stigmas. The nut is small and white. The plant is 3-10 in., flowering in August and September, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is the sandy edges of lakes and pools, wet places on heaths. The plant has the rush habit. The root is fibrous with slender runners, the rootstock being stoloniierous. The stems are bristle-like, slender, numerous, erect, and in water 1 ft. long, bluntly 4-angled, grooved. The sheaths are membranous, acute. The spikelets are very small, flattened, reddish-brown. There are 3 stigmas. The glumes are blunt, ovate, the broadest ones below. There are 1-3 bristles, which are short and deciduous. The nut is small, round above, inversely ovate to oblong, flattened longitudinally, 3-angled, ribbed and transversely furrowed, with the style top-shaped at the base. The plant is 2-8 in. high, flowering in June, July, and August, and is a herbaceous perennial or annual.
Scirpus pungens, Roth. (= S. Rothii, Hoppe = 5. americanus, Pers.). - The habitat of this plant is sandy banks, pond sides. The plant has the bulrush habit. The stems are acutely 3-sided, slender. There are 2-3 long, narrow, linear, channelled, keeled leaves. There are several sheaths. The spikelets are few, stalkless, lateral, large, blunt, ovate. The bracts are very long and slender. The glumes are notched, blunt-pointed, smooth, with 2 acute lobes, ovate, reddish-brown. The anther-tips are acute. There are 1-2 bristles. The nut is inversely ovoid, pale, plano-convex, smooth. The plant is 6-18 in. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is wet places. The rootstock is tufted with or with- j out stolons. The stems are 3-sided, rough at the top. The leaves are broad, long, as long as the stem, limp, the lowest sheaths sometimes leafless, with the edges not filamentous. The spikelets are numerous, inclined, long, long-stalked, the barren spikelets 2-3, stout or slender, the fertile 2-4, slender, cylindrical, distant, erect in fruit, with a few male flowers at the top, nodding in flower. The lowermost bract is leaflike, overtopping the stem, and with long auricles. The glumes are blunt, acute, purple, with a green I midrib, narrow, lance-shaped. The fruit is oblong, lenticular, veined, pale, blunt or acute, round or j oval, spherical or flattened, with 3-5 ribs and a smooth beak. The nut is plano-convex, round to , inversely ovoid, with a short slender beak. The plant is 2-3 ft. high, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.