Dec. 31, 2021

Greenfruit bur-reed, Sparganium emersum

Greenfruit bur-reed is perhaps more often called European bur-reed, although that may be more likely in other parts of its distribution. Then again, if we momentarily abandon our ethnocentrism, it has many names. In Denmark it is enkelt pindsvineknop. And I kind of like the Swedish igelknopp. This is a circumpolar boreo-temperate element. It grows in ponds and along shores, and in the wetter parts of swamps and bogs. If stranded it gives the impression of being the smallest bur-reed, not often over a foot tall. In water the stems can be two meters long. The seeds are eaten by waterfowl, and the whole plant of enjoyed by muskrats. A patch of these sticking up out of the water can be a fun sight in AK, AZ, CA, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, all provinces of Canada, and on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 7/28/16. Cat-tail family, Typhaceae.