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Biology

This perennial species flowers in April and May, and the seeds are shed from October to March (3). It is unusual amongst British sedges as it produces very few large seeds (3). Plants usually begin to flower in the second or third year of life (8). The tall stems that support the inflorescences of flowers are thought to be an adaptation to disperse the seeds away from the parent plant (3). Large plants can produce up to 200 inflorescences when growing in good light (8). Seed production is good, however the means of seed dispersal is not known; it is thought that rodents and other seed-eaters may be important, and that after heavy rain the flow of water could occasionally help to spread the seeds (8). Plants growing in cultivation are known to have lived for 25 years, although in the wild the longest life-span recorded is 13 years; most specimens, however, live for just 2- 5 years (8). This species is able to survive periods when the tree canopy closes, as the seeds can stay dormant in the soil for a considerable length of time, germinating when conditions become suitable once again (3). It is possible that the seeds may remain in a viable but dormant state for as long as 20 years (8).

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Source: ARKive

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