|Dune grass, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park|
We're grass eaters. The bulk of our food is either grass, or relies on grass in the form of animal feed.
"Grasses now provide us with 3 times more food than do peas and beans, tubers, fruit, meat, milk and eggs put together." (Plants of Coastal BC)
And yet, we - I - mostly ignore the grasses. It's "just grass". A mistake.
|Dune grass and unidentified grass, Oyster Bay.|
The checklist for plants of Oyster Bay Shoreline Park includes 24 different species of grass, of over 200 species in coastal BC. That's a lot of missed beauty. I've started to pay attention, finally.
|One of the Bromes. Cheatgrass, maybe.|
The grasses are flowering plants, but the miniature flowers are hidden under an arrangement of bracts and awns. To understand what the guide tells us, we need a new vocabulary: the bract that covers the flower is called a "lemma": two more bracts, beneath the floret, are called "glumes". The whole contraption: glumes, lemma, flower, inner bract, and awn: makes up a spikelet. A bunch of spikelets makes an inflorescence.
Each type of grass has a different arrangement of these parts. It's complicated.
|I think this is one of the vernal grasses.|
I am going to try to photograph and identify as many of the grasses of the park as possible. Any help with identifications (and all corrections) will be vastly appreciated.
|I couldn't identify this one. It's a small grass. (That's my finger at the bottom left.)|