Orchard Grass, seed ripening . . . (Dactylis glomerata) Now common,
introduced from Europe.
The President and the Orchard Grass
Orchard Grass is common throughout most of North America in abandoned
fields and other wayside places. It was introduced long ago from Europe for
use as a forage grass. George Washington once wrote:
"Orchard Grass of all others is in my opinion the best mixture
with clover; it blooms precisely at the same time, rises quick
again after cutting, stands thick, yields well, and both cattle
and horses are fond of it green or in hay."
excerpted from Grasses: An Identification Guide
A classic work by Lauren Brown (1979)
Regardless of how we may have come to think about the introduction of alien
species in the present era, one wonders how long it has been since a politician
of Western culture has been able speak so authoritatively about farming and
the delicate ensemble of plants which makes up hay. Orchard Grass is also
known as Cock's Foot. I know it from years of summer haying in the Alps,
where it is native at lower elevations.
(Photograph was made Saturday, the 10th of August, 2002)
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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2002 picture-poems.com