West Highland Flora

Couch Grass


Elytrigia repens

Other names: Elymus repens, Agropyron repens

Elytrigia repens

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye
Spike c 16 cm long

Frequent in rough grassland, often by the shore, and as a garden weed.

Spikelets c 10-18 mm long.

ID: Spikelets alternating up the axis and broadside-on to it.  Lowest lemmas protrude past tip of glumes.  Lemmas either unawned, or with an awn shorter than the lemma.  (If awns between 7-10 mm long, could be either this or Bearded Couch, but most unlikely to find either of them with awns in that range).  Glumes pointed, not having a notably blunt look as in Sand Couch.  Spikelets overlapping the next one up on the same side.  Leaves with scattered, not dense, white hairs (or occasionally no hairs)

Other features: Spreads by rhizomes which form new plants from tiny pieces when broken up in the garden.  3-8 florets per spikelet.  Hybridises with Sand Couch.  Spikelets do not break up when ripe, whereas those of Bearded Couch break up between each lemma.  Leaves have auricles where they join the stem.

 

Elytrigia repens

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye
Spike c 5 mm wide

  Elytrigia repens

Photo Carl Farmer
4 Aug 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye

  Elytrigia repens

Photo Carl Farmer
4 Aug 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye


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