14th June 2020 – the intricacy of flowering cocksfoot grass

In the woodland clearing this morning, I like to think I notice the hint of rosy hue which wasn’t there last week.  It’s warm but fresh here after yesterday’s downpour.

Up close to the scramble of plants on the old railway bank, I see that the cocksfoot grass (Dactylis glomerata) is in flower, and through my hand lens the pronounced anthers are distinctly purplish pink.  I can just make out the feathery stigma too and the tiny teeth along the spine of each glume, which are the green flower coverlets. The one sided clumped flowering head of this common grass is one I’m usually fairly confident of, and I’m reassured by the distinctive wave of the flower stems and the flattened stem near the ground which are good diagnostics.

Before leaving, I pause by the gate to watch a young robin hopping about rather aimlessly in the leaf litter. I get that feeling that I’m being watched too and spot what I expect is mum or dad keeping a black eye on me from a nearby holly tree.



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