Fun with grasses in the Queen’s Domain

It is common knowledge that the grassland ecosystem is one of high botanical biodiversity. Even disturbed grasslands can have a rather high diversity of a mixed bag of native and exotic plants.

Whilst strolling along the side of a 300m stretch of road in the Queens domain I decided to do an amateur-naturalist survey.

I took the road as an informal transect and count the number of grass genera that I could discern along that 300 m stretch, just on the side of the road I was walking.

I collected some of the grass and laid them out to photograph, as shown below.

Here are some of my results of the impromptu identifications, with the numbers corresponding to the genus identity of the grasses in the photograph:

1. Greater Quaking-grass (Briza maxima)
2. Lesser Quaking-grass (Briza minor)
3. Poa bulbosa
4. Sweetgrass (Glyceria sp.)
5. Silvery Hairgrass (Aira caryophyllea)
6. Poa sp.
7. Fescue (Festuca sp.)
8. Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)
9. Kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra)
10. Speargrass (Austrostipa sp.)
11. unknown sp.
12. Loose Plumegrass (Dichelachne inaequiglumis)
13. Rice millet (Piptatherum miliaceum)
14. Great Brome (Bromus diandrus)
15. Ratstail Fescue (Vulpia myuros)
16. Bearded Oat (Avena barbata)
17. Sweet Vernalgrass (Anthoxanthum odoratum)

Although only 17 species are featured in the photograph, there is not a shadow of doubt that I have missed quite a few species.

For example, there were definitely more than two species of Speargrass (Austrostipa) and a few other more genera that I had seen previously when walking along that road.

Nevertheless, just on the basis of what I have collected and laid out there are at least 14 genera of grasses, all just on one side of a 300m stretch of road!

Such richness!

For a fan of biodiversity (weedy or not) and of grasses, a ramble around such a grassland in springtime is simply irresistible.

About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
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