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Cock's-foot or orchard grass

Dactylis glomerata


Perennial plant, robust, hairless, cespitous. Stems erect, 20 - 120 cm high, compressed at the base. Blade folded when young, large (4 - 12 mm), quite stiff, long, with no visible nerve, hulled at the top. Ligule very big, irregular, torn, white. No auricles. Inflorescence in stiff panicle, spreading or dense, erect, with basal branches without spikelets over a long area. Spikelets 3 - 6 flowered, 5 - 6 mm long, in compact clusters. The weight of 1000 seeds is 0.8 to 1.4 g (average seeds). Chromosome number: 2n = 28 (tetraploid). Some mediterranean cocksfoot are diploid: 2n = 14.


Dactylis glomerata occurs from sea level in the north of its range, to as high as 4,000 m altitude in the south of its range in Pakistan. It is widely used for hay and as a forage grass. It is a principle species in the UK National Vegetation Classification habitat community the very widespread Arrhenatherum elatius grassland, and thus can be found where Arrhenatherum elatius, (also known as False Oat grass), occurs. It can be found in meadows, pasture, roadsides, and rough grassland. It has been introduced into North America, New Zealand and Australia, and is now widely naturalized. In some areas, it has become an invasive species. Other names include cocksfoot, cocksfoot grass, and (in cultivation in the USA) orchard grass.


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Spotted by

Himachal Pradesh, India

Spotted on Feb 24, 2012
Submitted on Feb 24, 2012

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