Categories
Grass

False Oat -Grass

This is a very tall grass. The ones I looked at were over 120cm tall. The flower heads are distinctive and spiky looking. Look out for the ‘Awns’. An Awn is a needle like thing sticking out from the spikelet. Awns can be long, short, bent, may not be there at all and is one of the things used to identify the grass. I’ll highlight it in the pictures below. The panicle is whorled.

In this pictures you can see the awn sticking out like a needle.
This is what the head looks like before it opens. Even here you can see the spiny awns.
Categories
Grass

Tufted Hair Grass

I had already posted Tufted Hair Grass but it turned out my identification was wrong and what it really was was Annual Meadow Grass. That’s now been corrected. This is the real Tufted Hair Grass. It grows in big clumps looking a bit like the clumps of grass you see on sand dunes with the needle like stems and leaves radiating out like a grass fountain. It’s tall and the thing which struck me was how it changes its appearance when the panicles open out. You can see that in the following pictures.

In this picture the panicles are still closed. They look attractive like this
In this picture the panicle has opened and it’s in flower.
A better view so you can see the shape of the open panicle.
This is the base of the clump – dense with all the shoots and leaves radiation from the centre. The blobby shapes at the front are Cock’s Foot heads.
Categories
Grass

Cock’s Foot – again

I was watching as a fly sitting on some flowering Cock’s Foot suddenly took off and kicked off a huge cloud of pollen. At this time of year it’s bad news for hay fever sufferers. The Cock’s foot which I posted about a while ago is now in full flower. Some of it is pale yellow and some is purplish.

This is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago. The panicles have spread out but the flowers are not open. The heads feel hard and rough.
Now it feels soft and producing huge amounts of pollen.
Categories
Grass

Red Fescue

According to the book, despite the name it is not usually red except in coastal areas. Notice that the branches of the panicle are alternate along the stem rather than ‘whorled’ which we’ve seen before. It’s a very fine and slender grass. I found it quite difficult to identify and there is a possibility that it’s actually Meadow Fescue.

Categories
Grass

Crested Dog’s Tail

I had intended to take some pictures of the heads on this grass before it flowered but I waited two days and then it was too late and they’d already opened. The unopened heads are very very neat. Like a tightly plaited pony tail.

Categories
Grass

Annual Meadow Grass

You may have noticed that the grasses I’ve shown so far have been fairly distinctive. In other words I can pick them out even if I don’t know what they’re called. Many grasses are difficult to identify, they just look like, well, grass. I decided to bite the bullet and do some hard ones.

I originally posted this as Tufted Hair Grass but now I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. I think it should be Annual Meadow Grass. The book says that it’s one of the worlds most successful plants – so I guess that means it’s quite common. The reason I came to the conclusion that I’d made a mistake is that I found another grass which probably is Tufted Hair Grass.

This arrangement of the panicle is called “Whorled”. At each junction a number of branches (3 – 5) spread out with spikelets near the end. The flowers are already open in this picture.
There are two purple flowers in each Spikelet .
Categories
Grass

Soft Brome

We don’t have a lot of this grass. It occurs here and there as individual plants. According to the book it is an annual or biennial. I think all the other grasses I’ve found are perennial. I used to think it must be related to oats because it has that kind of look. Wikipedia says it’s a pest in wheat and barley crops and difficult to get rid of. But it looks nice and the flower heads have a very tidy look about them like a gift tightly wrapped up or a swaddled baby.

Categories
Grass

Yorkshire Fog

This is classed as a soft grass. The leaves feel soft and downy and even the seed heads are soft. Yorkshire Fog seems a good name for it.

One of the things I’m discovering about grass identification is that you have to pick the right time. Grasses change as the season progresses so I’ve included a few pictures here to show what I mean. The flower heads are called Panicles and I’ll use that term here.

The panicle here is still wrapped up in a leaf sheath.
Eventually the sheath rolls back and here is the panicle still wrapped tightly around the stem.
Here the branches of the panicle have opened out and the flowers have opened. This is the picture I see in the identification book. When the seeds have formed the panicle closes back up again.
Categories
Grass

Cock’s Foot

Cock’s Foot is a robust tall grass. The heads are dense and feel rough and hard. I’ve noticed that in the Autumn when the seeds are ripe that the heads don’t come off easily. The heads are green and some have a lot of purple on them. The leaves are broad and coarse feeling.

Earlier on the heads were folded up forming a big dense head. Later the side branches lower down to 45 degrees as you can see in this picture.
Categories
Grass

Meadow Foxtail

You can see why this is called Foxtail. There’s another grass here which has similar flower spikes called Timothy but that appears much later in the year.

Some of the flower spikes are greenish and some are purplish. Some of the purple ones are so dark as to look black. According to the book its Stamens can be orange or purple but all the ones I saw here were purple.

Purple stamens. 3 per Spikelet – I counted, yes I did.
This is one of the more greenish heads
Couldn’t resist this one. No idea what kind of insect it is.
This was one of the more purpleish heads. Most of them were like this.