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A Poa Palustris

A Poa Palustris

Poa Palustris

via GIPHY

; throughout. Open swamps, shorelines, ditches, wet meadows, graminoid marshes. Rare collections of this grass from cliffs are easy to confuse with Poa interior. Poa palustris usually has a loosely cespitose growth form and lemmas with a prominently webbed callus, narrow marginal hyaline zone, and a keel that incurves at the apex. This contrasts with Poa interior, which usually has a densely cespitose growth form and lemmas with a scant web of hairs on the callus, a relatively broader marginal hyaline zone, and nearly straight keels. The owner shared her frequently asked questions to help those new to plants, including the best time of year to plant and the pH level of her soil. It's clear that you'll have to call often to ask any difficult questions, but she offers plenty of additional helpful information.

Poa

via GIPHY

While botanizing in Garrett County, Maryland, early this summer Rod Simmons, a Smithsonian Research Collaborator, and Rob Soreng spotted and collected fowl bluegrass, Poa palustris, a grass thought to be rarely collected in the state. One location was along the river in Casselman River Bridge State Park, and the other location was in Swallow Falls State Park along the Youghiogheny River, where it was associated with Trautvetteria caroliniensis, Avenella flexuosa, Rhododendron arborescens, R. maximum, and Tsuga canadensis. Voucher specimens from both collections (9322, 9321) are at the U.S. National Herbarium (US) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Herbarium (TAWES), a duplicate of specimen 9322 is at University of Maryland, Norton – Brown Herbarium (MARY), and specimen 9321 is at City of Alexandria Herbarium (AVCH).Poa palustris was previously reported in Maryland from a few old collections, collected in the state some 60 years ago—Prince George’s County, Suitland Bog, in 1965 (F.G. Meyer 9233, NA), and Baltimore County, Soldiers Delight, in 1972 (F.J. Monteferrante 076, BALT). We redetermined these as Poa pratensis L. subsp. pratensis and Glyceria canadensis or laxa, respectively from photos kindly provided by Joan Feely (NA) and David Hearn (BALT). The earliest collection from our area may be from D.C., by E.S. Steele s.n., 22 July 1896 (US-DC) (Steele was collecting in the vicinity of Brookland and Terra Cotta [Fort Totten] on that date). Reports from Howard and Washington Counties by M.L. Brown and R.G. Brown (Herbaceous Plants of Maryland; 1984) and repeated by E.E. Terrell and P.M. Peterson (J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3: 905-919; 2009) are also based on erroneous identifications (at MARY – photos kindly provided by John Hall).

Before these new discoveries in Maryland, Poa palustris was ranked SH (State Historical - Possibly Extirpated in Maryland), based on the three old voucher specimens cited above. Now Maryland State Botanist Chris Frye (and Maryland Natural Heritage team) will likely list it as S1 (Critically Imperiled in Maryland). The species mainly occurs in boreal wetlands and is widespread across the United States, southern Canada, and across Eurasia. It is considered native in North America, but is also introduced for stabilization of riparian habitats, mainly or only in western North America. There are a few cultivars originating from northwestern Europe.P. palustris is the only British species of the genus Poa with a preference for subaquatic habitats. Despite its distinctness as a species, it is often overlooked and its current status is therefore uncertain. It has been regarded as a native by some authors (e.g. Clapham, Tutin & Moore 1987) but this seems unlikely in view of the extremely sporadic distribution of early records. Stace (1991) regards it as an alien. (Source: www.brc.ac.uk)

 

 

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