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Old 07-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #21
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Default Grass ID Request

I know grasses are difficult to ID--at least for me. If you need more pictures, just ask.

They are about 5-6ft. tall. (I really prefer shorter grasses, but if I have a native grass naturally occurring on our property, I'm not going to take it out.

Thank you.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
I know grasses are difficult to ID--at least for me. If you need more pictures, just ask.

They are about 5-6ft. tall. (I really prefer shorter grasses, but if I have a native grass naturally occurring on our property, I'm not going to take it out.

Thank you.
Dap, the longer grasses offer great shelter for wildlife, though... They go great with things like cup plant.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:07 PM   #23
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Dap, the longer grasses offer great shelter for wildlife, though... They go great with things like cup plant.

I think I can handle longer grasses in the hedgerow or something, but I really like the look of a shortgrass prairie. I can't stand stand alone ornamental grasses that people tend to plant as part of a landscape. More often than not they look like a huge eyesore to me.

I would view tall, native grasses in a natural setting differently. My main concern is that they would seed themselves all through my (planned) shortgrass meadow.

Like I said, if this species is native, I'll find a way to incorporate it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:09 PM   #24
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I did enjoy seeing a bird perch on the tall grass only to have it dip down, arching toward the ground. The bird would flutter to another and enjoy a similar ride. I couldn't tell if it was trying to get a stronger stem or was having fun.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:21 AM   #25
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I'm no expert at ID on grasses but it kind of looks like Orchard grass. Grasses are really tough to identify, I have one book, Grasses: an Identification Guide by Lauren Brown sponsored by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. She has a key in the front of the book that isn't too technical so it's pretty easy to follow. It's illustrated with simple line drawings, no photographs. If I need a grass ID I'll start there and then check photos online when I'm narrowing down the possibilities. Then for really detailed scientific descriptions and illustration, the Grass Manual on the Web sponsored by Utah State University is a really great place to visit.

Grasses in North America: descriptions, keys, illustrations distribution maps
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:32 AM   #26
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I'm no expert at ID on grasses but it kind of looks like Orchard grass.
The seedhead does look rather similar to what I've been calling orchard grass (I have that, too.), but this is much taller. Unless I've misidentified orchard grass from the start, I'd say this is a different species.

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Grasses are really tough to identify, I have one book, Grasses: an Identification Guide by Lauren Brown sponsored by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
I think I have that same book--or one very similar, but I can't put my finger on it just yet. All of my fieldguides were kept in one place, but it looks like I moved them when I did that gardening club for the kids.

Thanks for the link, too. Maybe I'll check it out later, I'm at least an hour late for getting out to walk before it gets too hot. Gotta run...er, walk, I mean.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:27 AM   #27
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Could it be reed canary grass? That wouldn't be good.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:46 AM   #28
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Could it be reed canary grass? That wouldn't be good.

Looks like a possibility, but I'm no expert. So far, it seems rather sparse.
I did an image search, and thought some of the pictures looked right, while others did not.

I was hoping our resident botanist(s) might verify the ID for us. I'd hate to remove something without knowing for sure.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #29
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I'm inclined to go with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) also.
Phalaris* arundinacea: UW-Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium: Plant Details Page

The wide leaf distinguishes it from most of the native grasses in the Midwest and Northeast. It's one of the easy things to check as an ID indicator. Grasses can be very hard to ID, many of them require a microscope and measurements in the millimeter range to be sure of a species. Reed canary grass has destroyed thousands of acres of Wisconsin wetlands.
Wetland Plants of Wisconsin: Phalaris arundinacea, reed canary-grass

If you determine that this is reed canary grass (or even suspect that it might be) get rid of it before it spreads on you. Cut off the seed heads and burn them, or bag them in plastic bags and put them in the trash. I know you don't like herbicides (glyphosate works very effectively on reed canary grass), but this plant also spreads by rhizomes so you have to kill/remove the underground parts of the plant as well as the above ground parts. If you dig, you have to be judicious and remove all the parts of the roots and rhizomes.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #30
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I'm inclined to go with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) also.

...If you determine that this is reed canary grass (or even suspect that it might be) get rid of it before it spreads on you. Cut off the seed heads and burn them, or bag them in plastic bags and put them in the trash. I know you don't like herbicides (glyphosate works very effectively on reed canary grass), but this plant also spreads by rhizomes so you have to kill/remove the underground parts of the plant as well as the above ground parts. If you dig, you have to be judicious and remove all the parts of the roots and rhizomes.
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Thanks for the second opinion, NEWisc.

I have burned the seedheads of other invasive species on occassion, I can do that here as well. I'll pull it out the best I can--so far it is a very small, sparse patch. I'd be willing to use glyphosate as a last resort on several of my invasives, but I do try to avoid herbicides.
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