#463 Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata)

11 June

Non-native but widely naturalized. Used as a hay grass and for pastures because of its high yields and sugar content, which makes it sweeter than most other temperate grasses. In dry areas as in much of Australia, Mediterranean subspecies such as subsp. hispanica are preferred for their greater drought tolerance. It requires careful grazing management; if it is undergrazed it becomes coarse and unpalatable.

In some areas to which it has been introduced, cock’s-foot has become an invasive weed, notably some areas of the eastern United State

#457 Carex Subg. Carex (Subgenus Carex)

5 June

After sharing a couple of sedges in recent days of which I am am “reasonably” sure of the species ID and also realizing that sedges are “not easy” I think that today I will throw in another species that I cannot identify with accuracy. Carex is a vast genus of more than 2,000 species of grass-like plants in the family Cyperaceae, commonly known as sedges (or seg, in older books). Other members of the family Cyperaceae are also called sedges, however those of genus Carex may be called true sedges, and it is the most species-rich genus in the family.

This one I initially thought was a Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) but on consideration perhaps it is not that, the ears being not as long as required. What it actually is I don’t know bit it is another, if anonymous, species on the long road to 1000.

For the record … Carex species are found across most of the world, albeit with few species in tropical lowlands, and relatively few in sub-Saharan Africa. Most (but not all) sedges are found in wetlands – such as marshes, calcareous fens, bogs and other peatlands, pond and stream banks, riparian zones, and even ditches. They are one of the dominant plant groups in arctic and alpine tundra, and in wetland habitats with a water depth of up to 50 cm (20 in)

#455 Eastern Woodland Sedge (Carex blanda)

3 June

A sedge native to a wide variety of habitats in the eastern and central United States and Canada.

Its leaves are 1–10 mm (0.039–0.394 inches) wide and 14–36 mm (9⁄16–1+7⁄16 inches) long. The stem usually has a staminate (male) spike at the tip, two pistillate (female) spikes closely clustered near it, as well as another pistillate spike lower down. The pistillate spikes have 4 to 36 perigynia each, which develop into seeds (achenes).

Carex blanda is rather common in its native range, and tends to spread aggressively, particularly in disturbed soils.

#454 Inflated Narrow-leaved Sedge (Carex grisea)

2 June

Sedges are not at all easy … and there are a lot of them. However, here goes …

A common and widespread species that grows frequently with C. amphibola and infrequently with C. corrugata. When growing near the other species, C. grisea usually inhabits sandier soils than them. Also, the usual habitats of C. grisea are less acidic than those of C. amphibola.

#189 Yellow Foxtail (Setaria pumila)

4 September

Setaria is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family. The name is derived from the Latin word seta, meaning “bristle” or “hair”, which refers to the bristly spikelets.

The genus includes over 100 species distributed in many tropical and temperate regions around the world, members are commonly known as foxtail or bristle grasses.  Native to Europe, but it is known throughout the world as a common weed. It grows in lawns, sidewalks, roadsides, cultivated fields, and many other places. This annual grass grows 20 centimeters to well over a meter in height, its mostly hairless stems ranging from green to purple-tinged in color. The leaf blades are hairless on the upper surfaces, twisting, and up to 30 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a stiff, cylindrical bundle of spikelets 2 to 15 centimeters long with short, blunt bristles. The panicle may appear yellow or yellow-tinged.

#188 Barnyard Grass (Echinocloa sp. – possibly E. crus-galli)

3 September

Some of the species are known by the common names barnyard grass or cockspur grass. Some of the species within this genus are millets that are grown as cereal or fodder crops. The most notable of these are Japanese millet (E. esculenta) in East Asia, Indian barnyard millet (E. frumentacea) in South Asia, and burgu millet (E. stagnina) in West Africa. Collectively, the members of this genus are called barnyard grasses (though this may also refer to E. crus-galli specifically), and are also known as barnyard millets or billion-dollar grasses.