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8 foot tall mystery grain  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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So this afternoon I decided to take my boys to do a little spelunking at a local lava tube. As we made our way into an area where the roof had collapsed I stopped in amazement. In this little green space there were some of the tallest grass stocks I had ever come across. My oldest son chuckled as he took the picture, I could tell that he thinks I get excited about some strange things.

Looks like I'm going to be making regular trips back there in hopes of getting some ripe grain before the birds do.  I'm still thinking about going back and grabbing a few clumps to transplant - what are the chances are Ranger will come by...
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I think it's rye
 
master steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Wow, that is a great find. Hope you can get some domesticated!
 
pollinator
Posts: 256
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Can't tell from the dead leaves but reed canary grass gets that tall and if the area was at all wet I could see it getting that tall. It is not native in North America but was used extensively as a pasture grass in the past so it is fairly common. I have found it out hiking in the middle of forests in open patches. The picture reminds me of reed canary grass but I'm not sure.
 
Michael Newby
gardener
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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No, it's not a canary grass, it looks more like a rye grass to me. 

What's really impressive to me is the fact that this grew in a high desert area that averages 14 inches of rain a year.  Not to mention the fact that it grew last year while we were still in a major drought.  The soil (sand) out in that area is pretty atrocious, too.  In fact the only things this plant had going for it was the sheltered microclimate and I would guess it gets regular guano deposits.
 
pollinator
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It looks like Orchard Grass to me...
 
And then we all jump out and yell "surprise! we got you this tiny ad!"
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