categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

HEATH GRASS

HEATH-GRASS

Danthonia decumbens

(Formerly: Sieglingia decumbens)
Grasses Family [Poaceae]

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category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8brown
inner
inner8cream
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow
sex
sexZbisexual

13th July 2013, Butser Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A grass which grows to 40cm high (occasionally 60cm) but is instead often found almost prostrate along the ground. Here growing amongst one of the pale-coloured lichens (bottom), some moss and a heather (mainly top right).

Sometimes solitary spikelets (which are hard, whitish and like a tuber) occur hiding in the basal sheaths. [A close examination of all the original photos did not reveal any of these tubers].



13th July 2013, Butser Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The panicle is between 2 to 7cm long with 4 to 6 florets, this specimen having but 5. The spikelets are between 6 and 12mm long and there may be up to 6 branches with spikelets, but this specimen has but one spikelet. The floret at the top is usually the only one which is not bisexual. The two lemmas clasping the inflorescence from the bottom have between 7 to 9 veins and have minute teeth nearer the top. They lack awns.

The florets are usually Cleistogamous - meaning that they do not open their florets and therefore cannot engage in sexual reproduction, despite the flowers being (here mostly) bisexual.



13th July 2013, Butser Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
There are tufts of long hairs wherever the leaves peel off from the round stem.

[The knobbly cluster of brown fruit on a stalk near the bottom is of a differing plant]



13th July 2013, Butser Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The long hairs on both the stem and especially at a leaf junction.


13th July 2013, Butser Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A birds-eye-view of the grass, these specimens procumbent.


This grass is native and often grows on damp peaty soil usually on acidic soils but also on mountain limestones. Occurs on heaths, moors and mountains and is common in some places.


  Danthonia decumbens  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Poaceae  

Distribution
 family8Grasses family8Poaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Danthonia
Danthonia
(Heath-Grass)

HEATH GRASS

HEATH-GRASS

Danthonia decumbens

(Formerly: Sieglingia decumbens)
Grasses Family [Poaceae]