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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

09 August, 2015

Rough Meadow-grass: take the rough with the smooth | Nature Notes from Dorset

I can understand why people, including me, struggle to identify grasses. They are something of a specialist subject but grass is with us everywhere we look it seems and any significant vegetative or habitat survey is going to include grass; there is no escape! Once you start you find that grass is not just dull and green but quite attractive and interesting.
Rough Meadow-grass (Poa trivialis) is very, very similar to smooth meadow-grass so how do you tell them apart? Apart from what might seem obvious, one has slightly rough leaf sheaths and the other has smooth the books say rough meadow-grass has slightly paler leaves than smooth. That is fine seen side by side but not much help otherwise.
The saving grace here is that rough meadow-grass is not really a grass of meadows at all, it likes damp, shady places and is often found along woodland rides and woodland fringes. 

Read more: Rough Meadow-grass: take the rough with the smooth | Nature Notes from Dorset