Branched Bur-reed - Sparganium erectum


Medium to tall robust erect plant to 1.5 metres. Leaves usually erect, occasionally floating. Inflorescence branched, but individual flower clusters unstalked. The male clusters above and the female clusters on lateral branches.

Similar Species

Unbranched Bur-reed has flowers in a single, unbranched spike. The leaf spikes of the genus can be distinguished from other similar plants, such as Bulrush and Yellow Flag, by the brown tips, particularly later in the season.

Identification difficulty

Freshwater margins.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Fairly common in England and Wales, less so in northern Scotland.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 409 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map