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Heath Rush: the sweeps brush

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Heath Rush: the sweeps brush

An occasional rush of the Dorset heaths is, not surprisingly perhaps, the heath rush (Juncus squarrosus). It is quite distinctive once you get to know it, primarily because of the brush like arrangement of the leaves. They form a basal rosette around the main flower stem and these leaves are thin and wiry, spreading out with the lower ones almost horizontal and the inner ones more upright. My book describes this leaf arrangement as a small sweeps brush!

The notable thing about this plant is its ability to survive on hard, well trodden paths and tracks; it seems quite indestructible and can withstand frequent trampling. The flower spikes are variable in height from six inches to almost two feet tall. They have small clusters of flowers that appear in June and July.

Apparently this species is often found where sheep graze and is actually far more common in the north of England than down here in the south.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 7 months ago

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