Two Grasses

With my prairie partner Jeanne, I can always count on learning something about grasses. I just wish I could remember it longer than a few days. So yesterday, we stopped at these two grasses. Maybe these two will stick in my brain LOL.

First, a Paspalum. I counted ten species (not including varieties) in the the Flora of North Central Texas of which two are not native. The roundish seeds are located on one side of of the inflorescence, which is characteristic of Paspalum.

On this particular one, the seeds zig-zag.

It was also hairy at the base! All a part of looking at grasses. Jeanne thought it was possibly P. setaceum, but not certain without keying it out.

Next, the Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides)! It is a warm season perennial bunch grass that appreciates wetter areas. A tall grass that grows to about four to six feet in our area. Interestingly, it has separate male and female flowers. The stamens are on top.

Here is a closeup of the stamens!

The stigmas below! The hard seeds are eaten by deer and birds. This grass is not found often in our area (ie it kinda dry here), but is found in the east Texas. In this instance, grass was probably planted at Thomsen Foundation.

So this is photo from last year’s seed. Each hard seed breaks off.

A Meadow Katydid (Conocephalini) resting on a stalk of the Eastern Gamagrass. Now I think I got these two grasses, but don’t test me in a month LOL.

Thank you Jeanne for sharing your grass knowledge!

Galapagos tortoise thought extinct for 100 years has been found alive

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve seen a lot of Eastern Gamagrass in the blackland prairie parts. We even have it here down by the river. Some of it grows a good 10 ft vertically from the river level so it must put some deep roots down. Our sandy soil sure doesn’t hold moisture so it must be reaching to the water table. This has been a favorite grass of mine for decades. I love the kernels separate of the male flowers. And the plant usually makes a ring of foliage.

    1. Good to know. I guess it really does prefer some water near by. Out in the LBJ grasslands there is some in one unit, but the cows eat it down to its gnarly looking top roots. Jeanne knew what it was right off the bat. Carolina Jointgrass is another that breaks off like gamagrass. (I bet you knew that.) And I can enjoy that grass right here at home. 😉

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