FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Sparganium sp., Bur-reeds

Sparganium sp; Bur-reeds are true water plants with grass-like leaves which are either fully submerged or (partially) floating on the surface of the water. The inflorescences and fruits however, rise above the water-level. On Iceland 3 species occur, being:
Sparganium hyperboreum (Northern Bur-reed)
Sparganium natans (Least Busr-reed)
Sparganium angustifolium (Floating Bur-reed)
The three species are difficult to tell apart. The best differentiating characteristic is the shape of the fruits:
Sp. hyperboreum (Northern Bur-reed) has no beak on top of the single fruits
Sp. natans (Least Busr-reed) has a very short beak
Sp. angustifolium (Floating Bur-reed) has long beaks.
However the first two species hybridise..... (to make things even more complicated). Sparganium hyperboreum is the most wide-spread of all bur-reeds while Sparganium angustifolium is considered to be rather rare.

Sparganium species (Bur-reeds) are members of the Bur-reed family (Sparganiaceae).

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A brief introduction to common Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
List of waterplants,
look here for more plant groups lists
Click on thumbnails or latin names to get information on the species.

Click on the image for true size view

Closer view on Bur-reeds in a pond
View on inflorescences of Bur-reeds in a pond
Stem with inflorescences of a Bur-reed laid bare on a rock
Reload first photo of a pond with bur-reed vegetation