WOW – Orchardgrass or Dactylis glomerata

Ok, Ok, So I was lame and didn’t post last week after I said I would.  My car broke down last week and I was entertaining my in-laws; plus I had to speak at church this weekend and then go to a wedding shower as well.  (PHEW)

SO without further ado – our first weed-of-the-week(WOW) – Orchardgrass!  (Otherwise known as Dactylis glomerata)D.glomerata habit

This temperate-climate grass (Poaceae family) is actually a “sometimes weed”.  In fact, it is commonly planted as a good forage for animals; BUT is usually looked at in lawns as a weed.   Try feeding it to your chickens, guinea pigs, hamsters, goats…

Leaves are a bluish green, and very long.  They are noted to be distinctly flat and V-shaped in cross section (not as if you’d do a cross section while gardening…but it won’t be completely round and almost flat-ish – see below.)  When mature, they’re somewhat rough to the touch.  Note the ligule here – a key identifier in grass; here a finely toothed and a bit membranous.  D.glomerata ligule

Flowers occur from late spring through mid-summer on a stiff branchy panicle, with fan shaped spikelets.  The seeds appear to be tightly packed in there.  D.glomerata panicle

I don’t have any beef with this plant.  If its green, it stays!

If YOU find this plant, here is what it might help tell you:

– you have a sunny and/or part shady area

– you may be near a farm or previous farm site, disturbed area (think empty lots), and roadsides.

– you might have mulched with mulch hay, in which case the hay was mature and cut with seeds in it (oops!)

– you might notice that it’s in a dry area, this grass doesn’t like flooded, poorly draining, or wet areas.

– it does NOT produce rhizomes, and doesn’t spread invasively. (HOORAY)

 

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