Dienstag, 2. August 2011

Plant of the Day (August 2nd, 2011) - Phleum pratense L.

Hello everybody. I'm back and it's time for a new “Plant of the Day” Article. This time, it's about a very common grass: the “Timothy grass” or Phleum pratense L. (and “Wiesen-Lieschgras” in German) from the Poaceae family.
P. pratense - habitus

It's a grass, which can reach heights until 1 metre. Its stalk has a lightly thickened ground. The leaves are medium long and narrow; their ligula until 5 Millimetres long and serrated.

P. pratense - inflorescenses (flowering)

This species belongs to the panicle-ear grasses, that means, the inflorescence is in fact a panicle with very short stalks, so it looks like an ear. This plant has only one terminal inflorescence.
Each flower has two glumes, which are separated deeply. Each glume has a short, laterally placed awn. Together, the glumes look like a boot jack.

P. pratense - flowering inflorescences

Because of this, the plant can easily distinguish from Alopecurus pratensis L. (Meadow foxtail); just crinkle the inflorescence and look at the glumes.

Flowering time is between June and September.

P. pratense - habitus

Timothy grass is native to Europe and Northern Asia. It prefers wet or fresh soils and is a characteristic species of fat meadows (Fettwiesen) and pasture (together with the clover Trifolium repens L.). It's also a very popular forage grass for the cattle.

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