Plant Guide > Grasses > Wavy Hair Grass

Wavy Hair Grass

Wavy Hair GrassDeschampsia flexu-osa (L.) Trin.

By the dry paths of early summer delicate panicles of Wavy Hair-grass rise in silvery pink and green above thread-like leaves. The flowering-heads of this grass are widely open, and as the small spikelets are borne only at the extremities of the wavy branches the plant seems but a transient spirit of the wayside that must be begged to tarry lest it leave ere

"the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song."

The silvery scales are exquisitely tinted in pink and rose for the short time that the flowers are open, but as the flowers fade the scales lose their colour and persist, shining and translucent, long after the seeds have ripened and the stems have died.

This grass grows in the shade of wooded pastures as well as in the sunlight, where on dry hillsides dark green tufts of the involute rootleaves are frequently seen.

Wavy Hair-grass is found at higher altitudes than are many of the common grasses, and in spring it is the most slender species in blossom until the misty panicles of Fly-away Grass open, wraith-like in their beauty.

Wavy Hair-grass. Deschampsia flexu-osa (L.) Trin.

Perennial, tufted.

Stem 1-2 1/2 ft. tall, slender, erect. Sheaths much shorter than internodes. Ligule 1"-2" long. Leaves 1'-7' long, involute and bristle-like, those of the stem very short.

Panicle 2'-8' long, widely open, branches hairlike, spreading, wavy, spikelet-bearing toward the extremities. Spikelets 2-flowered, about 2 1/2" long, green tinged with rose, silvery and translucent in fading. Scales 4; outer scales acute, slightly unequal; flowering scales acute, divided at apex, hairy at base, bearing a bent and twisted dorsal awn about 3" long. Rachilla prolonged. Stamens 3.

Dry soil. June to August.

Labrador to Ontario, south to North Carolina and Tennessee.