Beaked tasselweed (Ruppia maritima)
|Researched by||Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFound all around the British coast wherever suitable habitat exists, as well as in brackish inland waters near Nantwich and Sanbach, Cheshire.
Global distributionRuppia maritima is a cosmopolitan species whose distribution is limited by the distribution of its habitat, between ca 69 deg N and ca 55 deg S.
HabitatRuppia maritima grows in soft sediments in sheltered shallow coastal waters, from full salinity to nearly freshwater but mainly in brackish waters of lagoonal habitats, lochs, estuaries, creeks and pools in salt marshes, wetlands, ditches and lakes.
- Very slender stems, up to 0.4 m long, sparingly to richly branched.
- Leaves, 0.35 -0.9mm wide, 20 -115 mm long, bright green with pointed (acute) slightly toothed tips.
- Leaves ca 50 -210 times as long as wide.
- Leave sheaths present, 5 -22 mm long.
- Inflorescence borne on a slender, straight or tightly coiled peduncle, 12 -26mm in length but 0.5 -1.8 times as long as the longest carpel stalk.
- Inflorescence of two flowers each with 3-5 carpels.
- Seeds (duplets) pear-shaped, 2-2.8mm by 1.3-1.8mm, dark brown, with wine-red tubercles on surface.
Additional informationThe taxonomy of Ruppia spp. is difficult and under revision. Ruppia maritima may be confused with Ruppia cirrhosa (syn. spiralis), which has dark green, wider (0.4 -1.4 mm) elongate leaves, with blunt tips, and whose flowers have a relatively longer peduncle (Preston, 1995). Dwarf forms of Ruppia maritima may be confused with the needle spike-rush Eleocharis acicularis.
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Cronquist, A., 1988. The evolution and classification of flowering plants (2nd edn). New York: New York Botanical Garden.
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This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 19/10/2001