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Free images of North American Wildflowers 
Bur Reed 

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as". 



Identifying Bur-Reeds is particularly challenging - even to botanists and wetland scientists I am told.  There are very small differences that require careful study of the plant by looking at the leaves, flowers and fruit.  Trying to identify a species is also dependent upon weather conditions and the time of year the plant is being observed.  Species that are typically found limp and floating may become erect and emergent (growing above the water) during periods of low water levels.  Conversely, plants that are typically erect and emergent, may be found limp and floating during flood conditions.  

A general description of this species of aquatic plants, however, is that all have flowers that are born in globose heads.  The female flowers are separate from the males.  The name "bur" comes from the appearance of the plant's fruits which appear as spiky burs below the flowers.  All species grow from submerged creeping rhizomes.  

Common species include Sparganium eurycarpum (grows to be up to 6 feet tall), S. natans, S. fluctuans (fruits have curved beaks), S. angustifolium, S. glomeratum, S. emersum, and S. americanum.

Based on visual detection only and as photographed in mid summer during a dry spell, I believe these images to be of Sparganium emersum.  Common names include "European Bur-Reed, Unbranched Bur-Reed" and "Green-Fruited Bur-Reed".  Photographed in Northern Ontario in a Canadian Shield marsh. 


Aquatic Bur Reed plant white spike blooms.

Bur - Reed - 1

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White blooms of Bur Reed in northern Ontario.

Bur - Reed - 2

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Round white spiky flower blooms aquatic plant.

Bur - Reed - 3

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Round white fruits on Bur Reed water plant.

Bur - Reed - 4

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 



The Earth
Laughs in Flowers

~ Ralph Waldo 
Emerson ~



"We can complain 
because rose bushes 
have thorns, 
or rejoice because 
thorn bushes 
have roses."

~ Abraham Lincoln ~



"I wonder if
the Daffodil,
shrinks from the
touch of frost,
And when her veins
grow stiff & still,
She dreams
that life is lost?
Ah, if she does,
how sweet a thing
Her resurrection
day in spring!

~ Emma C. Dowd ~



"Bred feeds the body, indeed, but flowers 
feed also the soul."

~ The Koran ~


"If seeds in the 
black earth 
can turn into 
such beautiful roses, 
what might not 
the heart of man 
become in its 
long journey 
toward the stars?"

~ G.K. Chesterton ~



"I'd rather have
roses on my table
than  diamonds
around my neck."
~ Emma Goldman ~




"Where flowers bloom
so does hope."

~ Lady Bird Johnson ~




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