Grass Class a smash!

“Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints when the cops aren’t around.”  Dr. Charles M. Allen, October 2014

Just returned from three days of sorting out the glumes, lemmas and spikelets of native grasses and their associates at the first invitational Charles M. Allen Native Grass Class. I’m a little conflicted as to which part of the class was the best: the course work, the food, or the people in attendance. That’s a tough call, ya’ll.

The timing for the course was perfect for me since all of these fall fruiting plants are just becoming available to harvest and because of that, I will add forty or more species to the final species list for my Calcasieu Parish wetlands habitat/ mitigation banking restoration projects. Grasses and grass-like plants seem to be the most obscure and probably the most unappreciated plants but they have an very important roll in sustaining us here on planet Earth.

I am a big fan of colorful, flowering plants but what interests me most of all are these odd-ball native grasses.


The first step of the Twelve Step program is admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion.    …click on photos to enlarge them..


with a hand lens you can determine the details that separate the many species of Rhyncospera


To know Charles Allen’s humor, sometimes you need to really know Charles Allen.


Marshallia graminifolia amongst the Toothache grass in a Pine bog, in Kisatchie


The ghostly Liatris elegans, Pink Scale Blazing Star, huddled up with its pyrogenic grass partner, the demure Thin Leafed Bluestem


the rather discreet but very beautiful Pink Scale Blazing Star


One of my favorite grasses, Pineland Dropseed, a most beautiful thing. Horticultural applications for this plant are numerous. It is the perfect native lawn grass plant, too.


Field Paspalum, Paspalum laeve


….figuring out Juncus dichotomus


Dr. Allen, walking with fellow student Ann, in the field that he and I burned in January


Two very old and outstanding organisms. 🙂 …hopefully I will be one, one day, too.                                           Dr. Allen found this, the largest existing Large Gallberry tree in the world, in Kisatchie, right at the very edge of his property, where his joins the National Forest.


We stumbled upon a very old Yaupon in our travels, too.


Professor Jim checks the pulse of this ancient rippled Youpon Holly, Ilex vomitoria


Dr. Allen leads us through the diverse grasslands of Kisatchie National Forest

Dr. Allen is hosting a Native Plant Identification workshop soon that covers flowering plants and some grasses, etc. click on the link below for information…

Click to access plant%20id%20workshop%20oct%2028-30.pdf




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