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GRASSES.   I I

 

sequently fertilized by its own pollen. This is never the case with the grasses dealt with in the present publication. The stamens are not ready to shed their pollen until after the glumes have separated, and there is thus always a chance for the pistil to be fertilized by pollen from another flower. In many grasses such a cross-fertilization is favoured by the fact that the stamens and pistil of one flower are not ripe at the same time.

Fruit: After fertilization the ovary of the grasses develops into a fruit enclosing a single seed. Properly speaking, the grains of corn, wheat and rye are fruits containing a seed, just as the hazel nut is a fruit enclosing the seed. The hulled seed of Timothy is in reality a fruit containing a single seed. In most grasses the fruit remains enclosed in the glumes and the whole thing is termed seed. This is the case, for instance, in Rye Grasses, Fescues, Blue Grasses, Red Top, unhulled Timothy, etc., the seed of which, properly speaking, is a fruit enclosed in the glumes. The term "seed" being generally applied, it has been used in the description of the grasses to designate the fruit enclosed by the glumes, as it is generally found in commerce.

Agricultural Value: Practically any wild grass will serve, in one stage or another, as food for stock. Even the grasses of deserts, or other inhospitable localities, which are dry, woody and unpalatable the greater part of the year, may, when young or when refreshed by rain, furnish nutritious fodder or pasture. The value of wild grasses, however, is generally considerably lower than that of the cultivated sorts. The latter are better cared for, have readier access to food, less of a struggle for existence, and so are apt to grow more luxuriantly and yield a better quality of hay or fodder.

When attempting to cultivate a wild grass, or when growing a cultivated variety, one should consider its suitability to the climate and soil and to the purpose for which it is grown. Different grasses make different demands. All of course require sufficient food and water, but what is enough for one may bring another to the point of starvation. A water supply which produces luxuriant growth in a certain grass may prove injurious to another, perhaps closely related, species. Thus Sheep's Fescue can make a comfortable living where Meadow Fescue would suffer seriously. On the other hand, Meadow Fescue and Orchard Grass would languish in wet and sour soil, where Blue-joint Grass, Meadow Foxtail and Fowl Meadow Grass would grow luxuriantly. It is therefore important to choose varieties to suit the locality.

Such grasses as Red Top, which have a creeping root system and grow from early spring to late fall if the weather is favourable, are especially fitted for pasture, as they stand tramping and provide


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