Marsh arrowgrass

31st October 2009, Saturday

Today, whilst walking along the edge of the White Kemp Sewer  (one of the main Walland Marsh water courses)  I came across a piece of ground that was scraped out in the early 1990’s to provide shallow water for waterfowl.  This area is now well vegetated and I was pleased to find numerous spikes of marsh arrowgrass Triglochin palustre. Of course by now the plant had flowered and was in seed, and it is at this time of year that it’s name makes a little more sense.

When the seed is ripe the fruits remain attached to the end of the stem and open out to form the shape of an arrowhead, unlike it’s close relative sea arrowgrass T. maritimum, which is associated with more saline habitats.

This is a plant of damp grasslands and it has undergone a significant decline in the south east since the Second World War due to agricultural “improvement” so that it is now a very local plant in Kent. It was good to see it thriving in the scrapes.