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54   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

 

 

YELLOW OAT GRASS (Trisetum flavescens (L.) Beauv.) Plate 6; Seed, Plate 26, Fig. ii. Other English names: Yellow False Oat, Golden Oat Grass.

 

Botanical description: Yellow Oat Grass is perennial with a short rootstock forming loose tufts. The stems are from one to two feet high, very slender, and leafy to about the middle. Secondary shoots develop from the base of the stems. They sprout from buds within sheaths of old leaves and are at first enclosed by them. In the development of the shoots the old sheaths burst, and thus the base of the stems becomes surrounded by the ragged remnants of brown old sheaths. The secondary shoots produce quite a number of leaves. These, like those of the stems, are very soft in texture and covered with soft hairs. Their sheaths, as a rule, are also hairy. The flowers are arranged in a panicle, pyramidal in shape and with spreading branches during flowering time. After flowering, the branches turn upwards and the panicle thus becomes contracted and narrow. The numerous spikelets are green at first, but toward flowering time they turn a beautiful golden yellow—hence the name of the grass. After flowering they assume a duller, yellowish-brown shade. The spikelets contain three flowers, each of which is enclosed by two glumes. The outer glume bears on its back a delicate, somewhat bent and twisted awn. The fertilization is accomplished as in Tall Oat Grass.

 

Geographical distribution: Yellow Oat Grass is indigenous to Europe, northern Africa and the temperate parts of Asia. It has been introduced into North America. It has been recorded only once as growing wild in Canada.

 

Habitat: It grows naturally in somewhat dry meadows, along roadsides, on the slopes and even summits of mountains, and in mountain valleys.

 

Cultural conditions: Yellow Oat Grass is not fastidious about the soil, provided that other conditions are favourable. Although it stands some drought, it makes poor growth where the ground is too dry. It likes a fairly moist soil, rich in organic matter and lime. It is more sensitive to excessive moisture than to drought, stagnant water having always an injurious effect.


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