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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!

06 September, 2015

Wood Melick: an ancient woodland indicator | Nature Notes from Dorset

As with plants in general some grasses thrive in their preferred habitat and are rarely found anywhere than in those conditions that suit them best. Many plants cannot survive in the shade of woodland or hedgerows but wood melick (Melica uniflora) manages to admirably. Rarely found outside of old woodlands on dry and often chalky soils it flowers in May and June even though the leaf canopy from the trees is at its most dense.
Growing up to two feet tall it is a slender but spreading grass with small florets appearing along the upper stems; at first glance they appear heart shaped but on closer examination they are formed of two spiklets alongside each other. The leaves are bright green, long and thin and tend to bend down under their own weight.
This grass often occurs with in association with bluebells and ramsons under beech trees

Read more: Wood Melick: an ancient woodland indicator | Nature Notes from Dorset