Saturday, August 1, 2020

Deschampsia flexuosa (Crinkled Hairgrass) in Shenandoah National Park

During hikes at Shenandoah National Park in mid-July, one of the more notable grasses I saw was a somewhat short species with very airy panicles. Some had only a few flower spikes, but a few looked fantastic, as if a cloud of midges was hovering above them, and I have to admit I spent time during hikes paying attention to specimens of this species that I saw by the side of the trail.

The spikelets themselves were also quite notable, with 2 sinuous awns forking out from the 2 florets that made up each spikelet. But they were very tiny, and I must have been a sight kneeling by the side of the path trying to take macro pics of it!

I later identified the species as Deschampsia flexuosa with the help of Zihao Wang from a grass identification group in facebook.

If you ever hike Shenandoah National Park, then keep your eyes open for this very pretty little grass as you make your way along one of the many gorgeous trails of this national park.


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