Saturday, August 31, 2019

A native among the Stiltgrass - Sorghastrum nutans (Indian Grass)

I've gotten so used to seeing Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) during hikes, that it's always nice to see some other beautiful grass species along the trail.

The hike at Lewis Morris County Park in Morristown, NJ was turning out to be the same, with carpets of the invasive grass lining the sides of the trail, when I found myself looking at a tall stately looking grass in an open clearing. The specimens were notable for the large yellow stamens protruded from the spikelets.

The grass turned out to be Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass), a warm season native that used to be a common component of the tallgrass prairies that used to dominate the American landscape.

This was an awesome find, and I hope to be able to hike the trail again and take more photographs of this majestic species.

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