categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

COCK'S-FOOT

Dactylis glomerata

Grasses Family [Poaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8purple
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

29th May 2010, Millom, South Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A young specimen with the anthers not yet developed. Several dense spikes of flattened green (or here purple) spikelets


29th May 2010, Millom, South Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Each spikelet of flowers is between 5-7mm long. Here covered in long hairs, but overall Cock's-foot is more or less hairless. The glumes (of which there are two at the base of each spikelet) are pointed with bristly keels. Just above the two glumes are two lemmas, which are lanceolate with sturdy bristles on their keels. The awns (short bristles on the end of a glume[?]).


29th May 2010, Millom, South Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The lower stem and leaves.


22nd June 2009, Gait Barrows, Silverdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The inflorescence is erect and between 3 and 15 cm long with between one and two stiff lower branches between 2 and 5cm long spreading outwards at about 45° from vertical (but becoming erect when in fruit).

The upper clusters of flowers are closer snd with shorter upper branches.



22nd June 2009, Gait Barrows, Silverdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowering branches from the main stem have short, greener and slightly swollen junctions with the main stem.


16th June 2009, Little Orme, Colwyn Bay, Wales. Photo: © RWD
All branches of the inflorescence have dense ovoidal clusters of spikelets.


16th June 2009, Little Orme, Colwyn Bay, Wales. Photo: © RWD
The anthers here are cream coloured.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Whilst on this specimen the anthers are a striking purple colour.

It is a more or less hairless perennial growing up to 1m high with rough and stiff greyish-green leaves up to 1cm wide.



17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Purple anthers everywhere.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The profusion of purple anthers everywhere.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The still-green keels and lemmas.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Here even the keels and lemmas have goune purple.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The anthers are elongated and with grooves and ribs.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Purple anthers.


17th June 2013, Nob End, MB&B canal, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are greyish-green, rough and stiff up to 1cm wide. The ligules (paler greyish-green things lurking between the main stem and the leaf) have jagged edges abd are between 2 to 10mm long.


Not to be semantically confused with : Colt's-foot (Tussilago farfara), Cock's-spur (Echinochloa crus-galli), Cockscomb (Celosia argentea) or Cock's-Eggs () [plants with similar names in differing families or genera]

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The often purple-coloured anthers when younger (they turn fawn later).

Other purple-coloured (at certain times in their growth) grasses are Purple Moor-Grass, Common Reed, Creeping Bent, Whorl Grass, Red Fescue, Tufted Hair-grass, Purple Moor-Grass, Timothy, Purple-stem Catstail, Sea Fern-grass, Blue Moor-Grass and Alpine Catstail which are not all grasses but are certainly grass-like.

A very commonly occurring grass which grows in meadows, beside roads, on downs and many other grassy places over much of the UK.


  Dactylis glomerata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Poaceae  

Distribution
 family8Grasses family8Poaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Dactylis
Dactylis
(Colt's-Foot)

COCK'S-FOOT

Dactylis glomerata

Grasses Family [Poaceae]