Cyperus re-found and lost again

Galingale seen on 22/9/2014.

Galingale seen on 22/9/2014.

Galingale, Cyperus longus, was recorded as ‘status uncertain’ in The Flora of Whiteknights Park in 2011. It had been seen in the past by the lake and in the Harris Gardens – both places where it had been planted – but was not seen during David Le Grice’s 2009-2010 survey.

Galingale likes wet sites where it can keep it’s roots wet. It is known to self-seed in Britain. Recently it turned up in a very unexpected location at the base of a wall by the Harborne Building. Maybe it grew from seeds dropped there when old indoor plants were disposed of. It certainly didn’t stand much chance of surviving since the roots probably went into reasonably dry soil.

However the grounds team or the greenhouse team have got to it first. The whole area has been weeded and the two Galingale plants are gone. The most developed of them had buds but didn’t get as far as setting seed.

So the status of this species was known for a few days and now is unknown again. Are there still any plants by the lake or in the Harris Garden somewhere? Or will another seed germinate in some other unlikely spot?

Le Grice, D. & Jury, S. (2011) Flora of Whiteknights Park

Flowering plants are now recorded as a list on this blog and we have recently started noting dates the plants were last seen.

About Fay Newbery

PhD student in the Plant Pathology Research Group.
This entry was posted in Cyperaceae, Flowering Plants, Plants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cyperus re-found and lost again

  1. David says:

    There’s certainly Cyperus longus growing along the stream in the Harris garden and I recently found a plant growing in what looks to be a self-sown position. If I remember correctly, walking along the main path through the garden, passing the lake and the autumn garden, on the left is some dogwood and a grassy patch in which is growing a single plant of galingale.

  2. David says:

    I was reminded of your article this afternoon when I also found Cyperus longus in a curiously dry place, growing at the base of a sunny rockery in Oxford. I wonder if the garden plant is a different subspecies to our native galingale or if changes in climate have exposed a ruderal element not previously seen in our native species. Alastair has a paper on climate change and the Cyperaceae and might know something about this.

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