West Highland Flora

Alpine Hair-grass


Deschampsia alpina

Taxonomic note: sometimes treated as D cespitosa ssp alpina

Deschampsia alpina

Photo Carl Farmer
17 Jul 2003 Storr, Skye
10.5 cm from lowest branches to stem tip

Rare on damp ground in mountains

Glumes c 4-7 mm long.

ID: At least some (usually all) spikelets viviparous.  Lemmas with a notch in the tip deeper than wide - this separates it from D caespitosa which can on rare occasions be viviparous, but has lemmas only shallowly toothed at tip.

Other features: Ligule 3-10 mm long. pointed.  Leaves narrow, often inrolled upwards, sometimes to make a complete tube.  Spikelets variegated as in other Deschampsia sp, a mixture of purple, silver, gold, and green.  Non-viviparous spikelets, if any are present, have lemmas with a short awn from the middle or the top half of the lemma, whereas in D cespitosa the awn is from near the base.  Viviparous spikelets often have lemmas longer, greener and without awns or with a short point in the centre of the notched tip.

 

Deschampsia alpina

Photo Carl Farmer
17 Jul 2003 Storr, Skye
10.5 cm from lowest branches to stem tip

  Deschampsia alpina

Photo Carl Farmer
17 Jul 2003 Storr, Skye


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