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A large plant with very short rhizomes. Its leaves and shoots form large tufts or tussocks up to 70 cm across and stems reach 60 to 180 cm in height. Inflorescence has 1 or 2 male spikelets up to 10 cm long at the tip, and 4 or 5 female spikelets spread out lower down (up to 16 cm long). They are cylindrical and pendulous like catkins.
June and July.
Although it is scattered over much of Britain as far north as Inverness, it is only frequent in southern England.
Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 26 of the 617 tetrads.
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