27 July 2016

Annual Beard-grass

Annual Beard-grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) in roadside verge, Crynant

Recently I came across this attractive grass in a disturbed roadside verge near Crynant. Annual Beard-grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) is a south western European species which reaches its northern limit as a native species in south east England, where it grows on coastal grazing marshes. However, it also occurs sporadically as a casual alien species on disturbed (waste) ground and rubbish tips further west in Britain and as far north as Scotland. It is quite rare in Wales, but it has appeared in the docklands of Newport and Barry in the past. Outside its native range it probably originates as a bird seed alien or garden escape. It also occurs as an alien in North America where it is sometimes called Rabbit's-foot Grass and has pest status. The plants shown here were growing with a respectable cohort of weedy species such as Scented Mayweed (Matricaria recutita), Spear-leaved Orache (Atriplex prostrata), Lesser Swine-cress (Coronopus didymus), Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Redshank (Persicaria maculosa), Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana) and others. Beard-grass is so named because of the long awns that are so conspicuous in its inflorescence,

 Inflorescences of Annual Beard-grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) with long, bristly awns

1 comment:

Barry Stewart said...

That's a lovely species Charles (not one I've seen before) and a very nice record. It reminds me a little of Hare's-tail, which I encountered growing in the dunes at Port Eynon about 10 years ago - I'll see if I can dig out some images to post ...