Isoetes histrix Isoetaceae Land Quillwort

Picture 1 With Scilla autumnalis and Plantago coronopus

Isoetes histrix 31kb

Description - Small rosettes of strap-like leaves, 2-4cm long, rather like, and sometimes growing with Autumn Squill, Scilla autumnalis, but flatter, shorter, and more regulary curved but not as twisted as in that species (see second picture where the Isoetes is on the left) Below the ground there is a swollen whitish base, which contains the spore-producing structures. The leaves will disappear by early summer.

Habitat - Found in areas of short coastal grassland, sometimes in slacks which are temporarily flooded in winter. On very poor soil, often almost bare.

Comments - The only British species of Isoetes that grows on land; most are found in shallow, freshwater habitats. This one also needs a certain degree of dampness to survive. It is not known exactly how the spores, produced underground, are spread. Limited to Guernsey, Alderney and the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, in the British Isles.

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