Saturday, 9 May 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 19 - Green - 4 - grasses

Annual Meadow Grass delights to flower all year.  
It  has has been around since 1 January 

Our speciality Blue Moorgrass appears on the limestone at Settle in March. (See Day 11 Blue flowers 3  )

The first two "ordinary" haymeadow grasses to appear in most of the UK are:
 Sweet Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum


and then  

Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus prantensis

Meadow Foxtail. There are hundreds of spikelets in this inflorescence, and each spikelet has one inflorescence. Each floret has an awn (hair) so the whole head looks soft and furry like a tail.

Meadow Foxtail. When it is time to shed pollen, the anther stalks (filaments) elongate and the anthers hang out and release the pollen.

A little more on Anthoxanthum  odoratum

If you look at the blade sheath junction closely with a handlens

You will see that at the base of the blade there are some hairs whihc stick out - "whiskers".

This feature, especially if accompanied by a smell of coumarin (coconut / TCP / creosote) from the roots means it is easy to identify Sweet vernal grass even when it is not flowering.

By mid-May a host of other grasses will start to appear. Read about these in detail in my Grasses section of this blog, written in previous years..

Click here for  more flowers coming out around Settle

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