Thursday, May 25, 2023

Rogue's Gallery of Exotic Grasses in Sacramento, CA

I was visiting a park yesterday in Sacramento (California, USA), and I chanced upon a scene that tickled my fancy.

Exotic and invasive grasses are not a rare sight in the state, especially since the so-called Golden Hills of the state are the direct result of the introduction of alien species - more on that in a later article. But by a fortuitous coincidence I managed to take a single photograph that had quite a few of the more infamous exotic grasses in it. 

 Included in the image is Taeniatherum caput-medusae, Aegilops triuncialis, Bromus diandrus, and Avena barbata/fatua. Click on the image to expand and try to see whether you can spot examples of each!

A couple of the specimens in the photograph are actually new to me. One was the beautiful (but invasive) Bromus diandrus., which is much larger than B. tectorum (cheatgrass).

Bromus diandrus
The other is Aegilops triuncialis, which is commonly called barbed goatgrass in the USA. 

Aegilops triuncialis

As an aside, in addition to seeing Aegilops spp for the first time ever, I also saw my first specimens of Bromus rubens (which has the common name Red Brome here in the USA). This species has an attractive inflorescence, but has proven to be quite invasive in desert shrub habitats and grasslands.

Bromus rubens

Bromus rubens

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