What Does It Look Like?
You may have heard of several different kinds of squirrel grass. Some of them are Hordeum jubatum, St. augustine grass, and Foxtail barley grass. However, you might not know which one is the most popular or dangerous for your yard. Read on to learn more about these and other common types. Listed below is a brief description of each type. If you have any questions about a specific type of grass, feel free to contact us.
This graceful, multi-purpose perennial is great for creating naturalized meadows in rocky areas. It self-sows in a variety of soil types and is difficult to eradicate. It is considered a weed in some areas and is unpopular among ranchers because of its sharp awns, which can damage livestock. If you have to deal with this problem, consider using a variety that is suited to your needs.
This perennial species grows in a wide range of habitats and requires full sun. It self-seeds in spring and is one of the first plants to colonise vacant ground. Because of its long, arching flower stems, it is best to plant it as a large swath in a sunny, well-drained area. It also tends to self-seed, so it’s a good choice for coastal gardens.
St. augustine grass
When mowing the lawn, make sure you cut below the blades of St. Augustine grass. If you cut below the third of the blades, the grass will look thin. Cutting right will encourage the grass to spread out. To maintain its beautiful look, cut the grass only when the blades are green and the height of the grass is appropriate for the area. In Florida, this type of grass is widely used in home lawns and as pasture grass.
There are several strains of St. Augustine grass. The common strain has white stigmas and is a fertile diploid with 18 chromosomes. It has also been found growing in the tropical areas of West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico. The most common strain of St. Augustine grass, Texas Common, has a white stigma color and is found around the Gulf-Caribbean region. Although it has been cultivated in these regions since the nineteenth century, it is only recently that scientists have discovered its seed-producing potential.
St. elymus elymoides
In the wild, Elymus elymoides is a species of rye native to most of North America west of the Mississippi River. It is a common plant that occurs in several ecosystems. Sheep like it, as it is the perfect food for the winter. At maturity, it grows long and sharp, making it an excellent choice for grazing.
Despite the diversity of ecosystem conditions in its range, the species is consistently climate-dependent. It is adapted to drought conditions in the western portion of its range, but it also requires a high level of water supply. The presence of drought-resistant ecotypes may help it adapt to the dry conditions in western regions. In addition, plants from Mediterranean climates have higher water use efficiency, but their leaves are smaller. Hence, drought resistance is a trade-off between productivity and survival.
Foxtail barley grass
If you’ve ever seen a wild patch of foxtail barley grass growing in the woods, you may wonder if this grass is a real squirrel. The answer is yes. It’s a perennial grass in the family Poaceae, primarily found in northern North America and adjacent northeastern Siberia. It looks just like the dreaded squirrel, but it’s more invasive and has no use for human agriculture.
This native ornamental grass prefers full sun and moist to dry conditions, and it tolerates a wide range of moisture levels. Its adaptability to varied moisture regimes helps it thrive in the wild, including drought-like conditions. The grass’s flower heads attract butterflies, birds, and bees, and it also blends well with other native plants. However, it cannot compete with taller plants or trees.
This species of annual grass looks very similar to Elymus species, but it is not. This species has five-veined lemmas, while native Elymus species have three-veined lemmas. Additionally, the spike axes in Hordeum are not divided into fruits, making it difficult to distinguish from the native Elymus. In addition, the medusahead of this grass is much larger than that of other annual grasses, which are blue or green in color.
This plant is known as “foxtail barley” and grows up to 20 inches tall. The leaves have smooth leaf sheaths and a nodding spike. As the spike matures, it produces a floret per spikelet. Although it is a common weed in many parts of the United States, it is not a true Elymus, because its awns are not straight.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.