It’s Grass Jim, but not as we know it!
by Paula Doherty
Most of the grass that most of us ever really look at is our lawn. If you take a walk through Church Field now you will be amazed by the variety grasses to be seen in the uncut areas. Here are just a few:
Cocksfoot is a tough, dense tussocky grass that can grow up to 140cm tall. So called because the distinctive tufted, triangular flowers and seed heads are said to resemble a cock’s foot, the pollen of this grass is favoured by honeybees over that of many flowers. Bumblebees build their nests in the long grass; carder bees nest in holes, hidden by the stalks; they are nesting sites for small mammals; and habitats for amphibians and reptiles.
Meadow foxtail gets its name from its long cylindrical flower heads that look like bushy foxes’ tails. It can reach over 100cm tall and is one of the first grass species to flower in the year. As a long grass, it provides an important habitat for a variety of invertebrate species.
Timothy is also known as common cat’s tail. It is a tall very robust, clump-forming grass with long cylindrical flower heads that gently sway in the wind from June to August. The seed heads are commonly over 30cm long. It provides an important habitat for invertebrates.
Yorkshire fog is known as velvet grass in the US because of its soft and hairy appearance. With purple to red soft seed heads up to 100cm tall, this attractive grass is widely spread across the UK and is the food source for the caterpillars of several butterflies.
There are plenty more species of grasses to be found on Church Field – in time Edgmond Wildlife Group intend to record them all. Come and have a look for yourself and see if you can find these and more – we’d love to hear what you find. Even better – get out there with a camera and post your pics on FB or NextdoorEdgmond or send to us for the website.
Paula Doherty (firstname.lastname@example.org)