Poaceae Family:

Elymus virginicus (Virginia Wildrye) on 6-14-20, #710-26.

Poaceae Barnhart

poh-AY-see-ee
OR
poh-AY-see-eye

The plant family Poaceae was named and described by John Hendley Barnhart in Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club in 1895.

As of 1-7-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 790 accepted genera in this family of grasses.

Recent findings have dated fossils of grasses as far back as 66 million years.

I haven’t even ventured to identify all the many species of grass growing on the family farm. Grasses can be somewhat complicated to identify. Members of this family, however, are different than “just grass.” Members of the plant family Poaceae grow on every continent and are the world’s single most important source of food (Brittanica). Like everything, though, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly…

When I started updating this page on January 7 in 2023, there were no photos. I decided to add photos of the four species on my “Species List by Family” document. Then I got to thinking about the species of grass on my “Wildflower List”. I went through that list and realized there were 13 there in this family. So I had to add them to the other list and then put their photos on this page. Unfortunately, most do not have pages YET. Now they are on my “to-do” list for when I am finished making updates.

For more information about this family of plants, please click on the links below. The links take you directly to the information about the family.

PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE
WIKIPEDIA
BRITANNICA

Andropogon virginicus (Broomsedge Bluestem) on 9-24-21, #835-8.

The Andropogon virginicus (Broomsedge Bluestem) is one of “those” grasses you don’t want to have in your pastures or hayfields. It is very invasive and hard to control. I’m sure you have seen areas where the grass turns a fiery orange in the fall. Well, it is Broomsedge Bluestem. There used to be A LOT here on the farm, but annual applications of fertilizer seem to be a good way to control it. I have no page for this species yet.

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Cenchrus americanus ‘Purple Majesty’ on 6-14-15, #268-35.

I have always liked Cenchrus americanus ‘Purple Majesty’ but I hadn’t tried any until 2015. There are, or were, always nice big pots of these at Lowe’s and other garden centers, but they can be a bit pricey. One of the local greenhouses had several smaller pots available in 2015, so I brought one home. After that, I realized I should have brought home many pots. It was really neat. When I get a chance, I will bring home more.

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Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass) on 7-13-18, #477-2.

I brought this Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ home from a local greenhouse in 2018. It always reminded me of the Foxtail (Setaria faberi). It did very well along the steps on the northeast corner of the house. Sometimes there aren’t many grasses available locally, and unfortunately the greenhouse I bought this plant from moved out of town.

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Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland Wild Oats) on 7-17-21, #813-13.

I remember seeing Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland Wild Oats) for the first time when I was on a campout with the Boy Scouts MANY years ago. I thought it was very neat then and I still do every time I see it. It is a native American species and I am happy to have it growing on the farm. You would be surprised how many species of grasses we take for granted are not native. Unfortunately, I still haven’t published a page for it. I need to work on that soon.

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Dichanthelium clandestinum (Deertongue) on 5-24-21, #799-6.

I first identified this species as Dichanthelium latifolium (Broad-Leaved Panic Grass) in 2019 but I was mistaken. It turned out to be Dichanthelium clandestinum (Deertongue). D. latifolium only blooms later in the season while D. clandestinum blooms in the spring as well as later in the summer. Flowering twice per season is a distinguishing feature of this species.

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Eleusine indica (Goose Grass) on 9-26-21, #836-12.

Probably my least favorite grass, the Eleusine indica (Goose Grass) grows in a few places in the yard, along a low area below the pond, and hit-and-miss in other areas. It is a very tough grass and even the mower has issues with it. Pulling it up is out of the question. There are several species in the Eleusine indica Complex, so what species it really is… I haven’t quite figured that out yet, so I am just assuming it is. In a few photos I took, there was some discrepancy and an iNaturalist member also noted he thought a few of the photos were of a species of Paspalum. GEEZ!!! I don’t have a page for this species yet…

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Elymus virginicus (Virginia Wildrye) on 7-17-21, #813-24.

There are a few small colonies of Elymus virginicus (Virginia Wildrye) growing here and there on the farm. I haven’t taken many photos of them and what I did weren’t that great. The green color blends in with all the other grasses around it. I don’t have a page for this species since I haven’t taken that many good photos. The other species in the above photo is Dichanthelium clandestinum (Deertongue).

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Eragrostis cilianensis (Stinkgrass) on 6-14-20, #710-29.

Hmmm… Another one I have no page for… I have seen this grass in the northwest corner of the main hayfield/pasture for many years but didn’t have a proper ID for it until 2020. I believe it is Eragrostis cilianensis (Stinkgrass) but I’m not 100% certain. I always like its soft texture. The stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds are very tiny and very difficult to photograph. It is an introduced species.

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Glyceria striata (Fowl Mannagrass) on 6-14-20, #710-32.

I found this neat colony around the pond in the back pasture so I decided to get a couple of shots so it could be identified. It turned out to be Glyceria striata (Fowl Mannagrass). You guessed it… No page. This one is native to the entire North American continent except for lower Mexico.

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Koeleria macrantha (Prairie Junegrass) on 5-3-20, #695-25.

I found this colony on a friend’s farm I “think” is properly identified as Koeleria macrantha (Prairie Junegrass). No page…

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Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ on 8-12-12, #115-71.

I grew this Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ when I was living at the mansion in Mississippi. I had to leave A LOT of plants behind and I forgot all about this one. Maybe someday I will bring home another.

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Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass) on 6-14-20, #710-43.

The Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass) is king in the southeast corner of the farm. It is a low, sometimes swampy area. When I first moves back to the family farm in 2013, it was full of Impatiens capensis (Jewel Weed. Now it is covered with Reed Canary Grass. That is a GREAT improvement! No page…

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Phleum pratense (Timothy) on 6-14-20, #710-47.

There is quite a bit of Phleum pratense (Timothy) growing in hit-and-miss colonies on the farm. It is quite common throughout North America and, believe it or not, isn’t a native grass. No page.

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Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern Gamagrass) on 6-22-22, #894-20.

I was driving down a backroad on June 22 in 2022 when I spotted a small colony of a grass I hadn’t seen before. It turned out to be Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern Gamagrass). This grass typically grows 2-3 feet tall, but can get as tall as 8-10 in the right conditions.

Of course, there is no page…

That’s all I have photos for in this family of grasses. I am sure there are many more to come…

 

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