New Variegated Grass?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by Gordo, May 20, 2008.

  1. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I found the grass pictured, which I believe to be a common native. This plant was growing in a semi-wild environment among a patch of identical, though non-variegated grasses.
    I'm wondering if spontaneous variegation is a common occurrence, and whether such variegation is likely to be stable over time.


    Gold Grass.jpg
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Presumably you have found a yellow-variegated canary reed grass (Phalaris arundinacea). I have seen the white-variegated var. picta in the wild but never a yellow one. Not even in cultivation.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    With those big leaves my first thought, before reading your description was that you had the yellow variegated form of common reed (Phragmites). Since reeds do grow around here that may actually be what you found, a wild occurrence of yellow variegated common reed. I have one of these here in Edmonds, down in front.

    Reeds grow in water and are actually considered a wetland pest here.
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Ron,
    Though I know little about grasses, my own guess was that this was our native switchgrass (panicum spp).
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Is your plant markedly hairy? I think to be the Panicum it would have to be. Does the Panicum have leaves that wrap around the stems? The construction of stems and leaves visible in the middle of your picture, the smoothish appearance of the leaves made me think of those other two - although checking one or the other might show they don't actually fit. It has to be one with the bases of the leaves wrapping around the stems. If the normal plants there have flowers it would be good to get some of those so the parent species of your variant can be determined.
     
  6. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't know about hairy, but it does seem to have the seeding habit & ribbed stems that I have seen in other Panicums.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Ohhh
    I don't know about hairy
    Hairy doesn't know about me...
     
  8. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    The appearance of the leaves is very similar to Japanese forest grass, though the overall habit is distinctly different, being much sparser, & a bit taller. Found the thing growing down by my pumphouse. Curious eh?
     
  9. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Oops! A little online research indicates this is likely that most noxious (though in this case kind of pretty) weed quackgrass. Just my luck.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If it's that it will have the characteristic tough spreading roots.
     
  11. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    That's odd, I just found a variegated weed growing in our driveway. I'm not exactly sure what it is, some kind of common weed I see on lawns, very flat to the ground like a dandilion's leaves but no flower so far. It's healthy and yellow in a wavy pattern around the edges and green center. First I thought it was just a sick weed but it's in perfect shape.

    I guess I just never looked for them before but after growing bamboo from seeds I've had a lot of variety in the seedlings and some variegated ones so I might be tuned into seeing this but it's probably pretty common so see a some kind of variation in lot's of wild plants if you start looking for it.
     

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