Friday, 1 July 2011

Holcus lanatus - Yorkshire Fog

Grass of the Month for July 2011 

(See other month's grasses)

Which grass has lower sheaths with red and white/pastel green stripes, and is soft to touch, like wincyette pyjamas?

Yorkshire Fog!

Pick a shoot and you'll find yourself gently rubbing it as you walk along. It is soft and comforting  

The  pinky purply haze in haymeadow fields that have not been cut by July is  due to Yorkshire fog .

But how do you tell it in spring from the other three common plants which can have red and white shoot bases and are softly downy-
Soft Brome (Bromus hordeacious) Barren Brome (Anisantha sterilis) and Creeping Soft-grass (Holcus mollis)?

Well the first two are annuals and are easily uprooted.. and by May they are flowering.

Holcus mollis (above) has nodes that are hairy
and the stem below the node is hairless.
Hence the expression "Molly has hairy knees"
The ligule has only short hairs

Holcus lanatus has hairy nodes
is hairy too.
It has long and short hairs on the ligule

Holcus lanatus (seen here)  has
long and short  hairs on the ligule.
Holcus lanatus at Austwick church-yard

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