Saturday, 18 August 2012

Poa palustris - Swamp Meadow-grass

Grass of the Month for July 2012

Swamp Meadow-grass is rare. It was introduced to this country.

It is similar to Wood Meadow-grass Poa nemoralis in that the shoots are very slender and rounded.

The spikelets small and scattered. The leaves look flat and it is hard to see their boat-shaped tips.

So like P nemoralis, the leaves look a bit like an Agrostis - though in this case it would be Agrostis gigantea, becasue the shoots are tall - but still very slender and gangly. The Swamp Meadow-grass grows amongst reeds which holds it up

The key difference between palustris and nemoralis is that the former has a long ligule and the latter a short one.. In fact at Leighton Moss this month I thought I had found some P nemoralis .. until I realised it had a very long ligule.

Both places I have seen it are RSPB Nature Reserves, and in both cases beside a path/boards/bridge amongst the Reeds. - At Loch of Kinnordy near Kirriemuir, and at Leighton Moss

(See other months' grasses)

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