Here in Ireland, Pipewort is not too commonly found, being confined to western areas such as Donegal, Connemara and Kerry. It grows in bog-pools, shallow, peaty water and lakes where its erect stems bear little domed heads (10-14mm across) of tiny, grey-white flowers, between which are minute dark-grey bracts. The effect of this combination is like a small padded button on a tall stick – a bit like a knitting needle with its round head poking out of the water. The stems are leafless, there being a submerged basal rosette of translucent, narrow leaves at the base of the stem. A monoecious flower, it bears male flowers in the centre of the head with female flowers surrounding them. This is a native, perennial plant, blooming from July to September and it belongs to the family Eriocaulaceae.
I was shown this wildflower growing at the margin of Lough Corrib by Sorcha Peirce of Grasshopper Cottage*, Corr na Móna, Co Galway. This was in 2009 when I was lucky enough to visit Sorcha and when she introduced me to the locations of several plants. I photographed it also at that time. * www.troutfishingireland.com
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre