Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flowers - a Grass

TPP admits to some bias with regard to flowers: the grasses, the sedges, and the rushes tend to get ignored, so here's a large semi-showy grass that is growing in a plot outside our building having been transplanted there by a colleague a couple of decades ago.  This is Eastern Gama Grass, Tripsacum dactyloides.  Here in the upper midwest this robust grass can be seen particularly in unmowed ditches.  This grass is in the same tribe as it's much more common, but non-native, cousin, maize.  Here you can see the staminate spikelets with the dangling anthers common to many wind-pollinated grasses, above a double row of pistillate flowers that are quite like those of teosintes, maize's direct ancestors.  Big, feathery, purple tri-branched stigmas, also quite common to many wind-pollinated grasses, are gone as this is just past pollination. It has a handsome teosinte like quality.

No comments: