For people who enjoy rough beauty, there is an area almost at the edge of the Worcestershire boundary called Ipsley Alders Nature Reserve. It is a beautiful stretch of land that is wild and rambling with all sorts of features for a naturalist to enjoy. One of the many plants that I found growing there was extremely tall Great Reedmace otherwise known as Bulrush … when standing close I had to crane my neck to see them against the skyline.
The female part of the plant is the fat sausage that sits towards the top of the long stem – the male is the rough area above her … when pollinated the female part of the plant releases beautiful, soft cotton silk like down which carry the seed. The plant likes to root itself in fresh water edges of lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, streams and brooks. The Latin name for this wonderful primitive looking plant is: Typha latifolia.
It has a cousin that is similar but this plant has a large fat sausage female with a short gap followed at the very top by a smaller narrow leaner sausage male – one on top of the other. This plant is called Lesser Reedmace or Lesser Bulrush. Latin name: Typha angustifolia.