False Oat-grass: the tall meadow oat

By venturing into the world of oat-grasses I am entering difficult territory! In my view this is really the domain of experts and that is something I am not; not even close. The problem is that there are four oat-grass species commonly found in Southern England and whilst the pictures in the books show them as being different trying to distinguish them in the field, even with a book to refer to, is a tricky business.
False oat-grass (Arrhenatherum elatius) has "stems, sometimes swollen at the base. The spikelets are shining with two florets and a long, straight awn. Leaves with a blunt ligule" (Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland by Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter and Alastair Fitter.) I rest my case, I frankly struggle with that even though I reckon I know what spikelets, florets, awns and ligules are.
Flowering from May through until September you can find false oat-grass on roadside verges, waste ground, meadows and other 'grassy' places. It can also colonise limestone cliffs and scree and

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