Grasses and the rock garden

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

You need to join the "Brown is my Favorite Color Club".
There's always room for more applicants.
I think I am the only member...

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

You need to join the "Brown is my Favorite Color Club".
There's always room for more applicants.
I think I am the only member...

Rick, do you work for UPS ;D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

RickR wrote:

You need to join the "Brown is my Favorite Color Club".
There's always room for more applicants.
I think I am the only member...

lol--is that brown for everything, or just plants? I do love brown for plants, but also really really fond of glaucous surfaces and white furry coverings, spines in red and black and white, stripes, spots etc etc!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Well, maybe not everything.  But pretty much  ;D  Actually, I do agree that brown isn't all that exciting unless you combine it with other textures, patterns, colors, etc.  But one only needs to venture a view of a marsh in the fall with all the varied hues of cattails, sedges, grasses, and bare trees and willow scrub to know what I mean.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

RickR wrote:

Well, maybe not everything.  But pretty much  ;D   Actually, I do agree that brown isn't all that exciting unless you combine it with other textures, patterns, colors, etc.  But one only needs to venture a view of a marsh in the fall with all the varied hues of cattails, sedges, grasses, and bare trees and willow scrub to know what I mean.

I fully agree on that--I have many photos of such places/times!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Anonymous
Title: Guest

cohan wrote:

...also pictured, a couple of nameless ( to me) 'sedges' photographed on the same day in late July..

Cohan,  I believe the sedge in the second photo of Reply #10 is Carex buxbaumii.  In my area this sedge is an indicator of undisturbed high quality remnants.  I tried to grow it last year.  Not a single seed germinated.  Just to prove my ineptitude, I am trying again. :D  Maybe the few plants I found between a railroad and highway borrow pit are unable to cross pollinate.

Here is an article about Carex buxbaumii in Europe that I found to be interesting.

http://www.botanicgardens.ie/conserve/buxbaumii.htm

My best guess on the third sedge is Carex festucacea.

Lastly, thank you to Panayoti for starting this thread.  It takes a mature gardener to appreciate the subtle beauty of the graminoides.

James

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Carex buxbaumii is common here but C. festucacea doesn't grow here at all. But I am ignorant of this genus :-[

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Anonymous
Title: Guest

Hoy,  It does not grow in Alberta either!  Therefore, it can't be C. festucacea.  Maybe it is C. brevior.

James

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

James, I'm going to take a look at those... to suggest why I have not looked at these (in terms of ID, I love the plants and photograph them often)-- Flora of Alberta has 3 full columns of species names listed in the index, and the key to the genus is 10 pages long, requiring close examination of mature fruits! Nevermind related or similar looking genera.......
A very quick glance at the map shows over 30 species that should or could be in my area, and past experience shows there are probably a number of others that have not been observed here but are in areas nearby and likely could occur around here..
Interestingly, buxbaumii is not shown in my area, but is in the 'could be here but not noted' category, since it is shown to the west of here, and many foothills plants do occur here but have not been officially observed..
Similar applies to brevior, which the maps mostly show occurring well to the north of here..
I don't know to what extent farming areas such as this have been officially surveyed, but its not uncommon to find things not shown on the maps (which in any case are so tiny, its hard to tell what is where..)..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Anonymous
Title: Guest

Cohan,

    For learning sedges it is best to take a collection.  Just one stem (with mature fruits) broken off at the base (don't forget to include the sheath) should be sufficient.  Lightly press the specimen between some paper as it dries.  I know a 10 page key and 30 species seems daunting.  Take it one at a time and it won't seem too bad.  Just be glad you are not looking at Cronquist and Gleason, they have 230 Carex species for the Eastern US.
    Simple features like achene shape will help narrow down the possibilities quickly.  Achenes are either lenticular (lens shaped) or trigonous (with three angles).  If you key sedges you will get to add words like androgynous and gynaecanderous to your vocabulary.  This should impress botany friends.  Keying out sedges is a much more productive activity than watching TV when it is -40 F outside.

James

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