West Highland Flora

Timothy


Phleum pratense agg

Taxonomic note: Includes P bertolonii (= P nodosum or Smaller Catstail) which is often treated as a separate species.

Phleum pratense

Photo Carl Farmer
27 Jul 2002 Portree, Skye

Common on roadsides and rough ground

Flower spike 1-15 cm long, 3-10 mm wide.

ID: Told from Foxtails by spike having less tapered base and tip, so being parallel-sided for > 90% of its length, and glumes having horizontally spreading stiff hairs longer than the width from glume midrib to margin.

Other features: Very variable owing to strains developed for hay and grazing.  The only difference between the two subspecies is size of all parts.  Probably the most reliable is the size of spikelet including awn.  In P pratense s.s. it is > 4 mm, in P bertolonii it is < 4 mm.  But with so many cultivars of both subspecies in existence there is a complete continuum between them, and many botanists believe the separate species have no validity.

 

Phleum pratense

Photo Carl Farmer
27 Jul 2002 Portree, Skye

  Phleum pratense

Photo Carl Farmer
23 Sep 2001 Broadford, Skye
 

Dead heads in autumn
     

Nodes and ligules.  The two foreground shoots are Timothy, rest of pic is not

   

 

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