A strikingly-coloured sedge
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I don't think this is Carex nigra as it seems to have 3 stigmas (though it is hard to be sure) and more than 2 male spikes. C. acutiformis seems more likely but certainty is elusive.
Just in case folks wonder what the importance is of the number of stigmas. The genus Carex is large and not easy to grip at the start. There are two basic sorts (leaving aside the small number with only one spikelet), those with spikelets all looking similar and those, such as the present example where the male and female spiklets look quite different. There are about 20 in the first group and about 50 in the second. Sticking with the last group, these can again be divided into those with 2 stigmas, (about 42) and those with 3 stigmas (about 8). So counting stigmas is a good place to start!
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I always knew sedges were difficult (my wife's initials, and hence her pet name, being SEJ), but hadn't appreciated the extent of the problem.
Thanks for the comments - one for further study, clearly.
I find they are worthy of further study and not too difficult.
The problem at the start is knowing which part to look at, and to illustrate on iSpot, to obtain the diagnostic features.
I tried with this one at http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/260025
I have posted what I think is a related plant, with some close-ups. I didn't add them to this one in case I'd recorded a different species!
Thanks for the information.
Lat/Lng: 52.4515, -0.1889
OS grid ref: TL231852