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A Pint of Poaceae hits #WildflowerHour!

At last the wonderful botanical outreach project #wildflowerhour has hit Dr M’s fav family – the Poaceae with the #grasschallenge for Sunday 23rd June 2019!

To celebrate, Dr M popped into his garden and plucked some grasses from his Poaceae-rich #nomow lawn.

Without really trying, Dr M returned with a big bunch of grasses and then set about trying to photograph them in the process acknowledging just how difficult it is to photograph Poaceae!  To Dr M this underlines the point that this family is one to enjoy in real and especially with a hand-lens first and foremost!

Dr M decided it might be best and easiest to photograph the grasses in a vase and he soon found something fit for this purpose, a conveniently empty bottle of Whiteknights Cedar Ale, a true pint of Poaceae!

Whiteknights Cedar is a brand new ale especially brewed to celebrate Reading Botany 2019 the 50th anniversary of botany masters at the University of Reading, read all about it here.

Even by Dr Ms standards his lawn has been left un-mown longer than usual, there has not yet (late June 2019) been a full cut all this year – apart from a few pathways through the long grass.

Dr M says: “I keep planning to mow, but then I look around and new botanical beauties have appeared so I am loath to set about it with the mower for a while yet!”

A couple of Poaceae surprises this year have been Bromopsis erecta (Upright Brome) and Koeleria macrantha (Crested Hair-grass), these last two must have been introduced by Dr M from seed collected at chalk grassland sites a while back.  It is only this year and because of Dr M’s more extensive #nomow policy that they have revealed themselves flowering which make them much easier to spot amongst the other common lawn grasses.

Non-poaceous delights have included the grass lookalike Lathyrus nissolia (Grass Vetchling) which seems to have had a great time and is quite frequent in the lawn, also doing well is Lotus corniculatus (Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil) to the evident delight of bees and other pollinators and one of Dr M’s fav Fabaceae, Trifolium medium (Zig-zag Clover), has crept into the main lawn from a planting at the edge!

So, back to Poaceae and how many grasses do you think Dr M plucked from his lawn? Well it was a grand total of twenty-five, these are pictured below – to the best of his ability – see how many you can identify, the full list is given below!

The Pint of Poaceae:

Dr M says: Want even more Poaceae? Why not try Dr M’s grass quiz here!

Dr M’s Pint of Poaceae comprised the following grasses:

  1. Agrostis stolonifera (Creeping Bent)
  2. Anisantha sterilis (Sterile Brome)
  3. Anthoxanthum odoratum (Sweet Vernal-grass)
  4. Arrhenatherum elatius (False Oat-grass)
  5. Briza maxima (Greater Quaking-grass)
  6. Bromopsis erecta (Upright Brome)
  7. Bromus hordeaceus (Soft Brome)
  8. Bromus tectorum (Drooping Brome)
  9. Cynosurus cristatus (Crested Dog’s-tail)
  10. Danthonia decumbens (Heath Grass)
  11. Elymus caninus (Bearded Couch)
  12. Elytrigia atherica (Sea Couch)
  13. Festuca rubra (Red Fescue)
  14. Festuca filiformis (Fine-leaved Sheep’s-fescue)
  15. Helictotrichon pratensis (Meadow Oat-grass)
  16. Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire Fog)
  17. Koeleria macrantha (Crested Hair-grass)
  18. Lagarus ovatus (Hares-tail)
  19. Lolium perenne (Perennial Ryegrass)
  20. Poa annua (Annual Meadow-grass)
  21. Poa trivialis (Rough-stalked Meadow-grass)
  22. Polypogon monspeliensis (Annual Beard-grass)
  23. Polypogon viridis (Water Bent)
  24. Sesleria caerulea (Blue Moor-grass)
  25. Vulpia bromoides (Squirrel-tail Fescue)

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