'One of us always tells the truth and one of us always lies'

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 30 July 2012 19:17

I had a great (although very hot) week at Amberley last week with Mark Gurney and Sarah Fisk from the RSPB. We were finishing off an aquatic plant survey of the ditches that we started this time last year. I had a few new species including Whorl-grass but the real excitement came in the form of this sedge. True Fox Sedge Carex vulpina is much, much rarer than False Fox Sedge Carex otrubae. We left the ditches that True Fox Sedge was last recorded in, by James Cadbury, until the last day. Sarah spotted this sedge and I thought it looked quite different with a darker and broader inflorescence, shorter bract and more winged stem. We called Mark over and he began to get quite animated. Well, for Mark! He was keen to take some specimens to clinch the ID and it's the epidermis of the utricles at magnification which confirmed it. Here is True Fox Sedge with roughly square cells:
And False Fox Sedge with its elongated cells. A big thank you to Mark for sending the photos over.
So it's simple. We had True Fox Sedge. But how can we be sure that it wasn't just False Fox Sedge lying? You could just watch this and make your own mind up...

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