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Branched bur-reed

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Branched bur-reed
Branched bur-reed.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Sparganium androcladum

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Distribution Map

The Branched Bur-reed is a species of aquatic plants known by the scientific name Sparganium androcladum. It is found all over the world, particularly in Britain and Ireland, even as far over as Japan. [1] Their leaves are in an alternating pattern and are either stiff and erect or limp and floating. [2]

Anatomy

Branched Bur-reed seeds

The Branched Bur-reed is an aquatic plant that roots itself in the mud at the margins of bodies of water. It has smooth, narrow, keeled leaves that have a triangular cross-section. [3] It can grow to a height pf about 1.5 meters. The leaves rise from a corm. The leaves and corm die back during the winter and the rhizomes replace them. The leaves begin to grow in April. [4] They have circular flowers that are produced n a branching spike. Flowers growing at the tip of the plant are male (staminate) and and flowers growing closer to the bottom are female. The flowers (Pistillate) are bur-like before they produce fruit. Their fruit, which is small, dry, and spongy, contains one to two seeds. [5]

Reproduction

The Branched Bur-reed is perennial and it flowers between June and August. The leaves grow from rhizomes and at the end of each year. Insects are only attracted to the male flowers so they are not reproduced by pollination. They mainly reproduce by wind dispersion but they can reproduce asexually. The fruit can float so they can reproduce that way as well. [6] The fruit has a water-repelling surface. [7] The plant's seeds are germinated under the water. [8]The flowers emerge from inflorences on emergent shoots between July and September. The flowers are unisexual while the plant itself is bisexual. All the flowers in a clump, or "head", mature as one. The fruit can be found until November. The seedlings can die very easily. [9]

Ecology

Branched Bur-reed in its swampy habitat

it is an emergent plant that grows by still or moving water because it is easily uprooted. It can occur in silting swamps or ponds. It can not stay out of water for extended periods of time. It can also be found in fine minerals in [mesotrophic] and [eutrophic]conditions [10] The Branched Bur-reed is spread throughout Britain and it can reach altitudes up to 425 meters. It is also found in temperate regions in the northern area of the globe except for the eastern areas of North America. It can also be found in Ireland, Europe, North Africa, North America, Australia, and even Japan. [11]It is found growing near lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, and canals. They sometimes grow in large in large groups near swampy areas. It prefers water depths between ten and twenty centimeters although it will still produce flowers and fruit in water up to one meter deep [12] Because cattle occasionally eat the Branched Bur-reed, they are mostly absent from those populated areas. [13]

Uses

The Klameth Indians dug the tubers of the Branched Bur-rees up in Autumn and used them as food. An "infusion" of Branched Bur-reed can be mixed with other plants leaves and used to treat the chills. [14]

References