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Sunday, 23 February 2014

A rare grass

Just counted hundreds of last year's now dead plants of Fern Grass Catapodium rigidum at the Copley Valley Development site. It's an annual. Not in Murgatroyd(1994) and considered very rare by Wilmore in the WY Plant Atlas.

It grows in disturbed, calcareous soil and is a very distinctive little grass. I'm happy to show it anyone down there.

There are good pics of it on the New England Wildflower Society website.


Philip said...

Very interesting sighting and well observed Steve. I have only ever seen this annual grass at Todmorden, on the cobbled slope at the railway station entrance. It has been there a good number of years but it is diminishing due to determined efforts every year to 'weed' and tidy the slope. Is the Copley population amongst disturbed ground and do you think the seed has been brought in with materials for building? It seems to be more common near the coast (where there is also a maritime species. Thanks for the American link--some good pictures there.

Steve Blacksmith said...

Hi Philip,
It has been there a number of years, since Sterne Mill was demolished but only really spread since the ground was disturbed for the buiding of the new bridge "The road to nowhere" the locals call it.
I've only seen it at one other site, in Hunslett, Leeds, on another demolition site. Interesting it's at Todmorden, too.