West Highland Flora

Common Saltmarsh-grass


Pucinellia maritima

 

Pucinellia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye

Common in saltmarshes and bare ground on the shore.

Spikelets 7-12 mm

ID: Characterised by often having a few panicle branches sticking out stiffly at irregular angles.  Even when the branches spread, their side-branches and individual spikelets seem to remain appressed to the branches.  Branches 2-3 together.  Spikelets similar to Poa but parallel-sided.  Glumes and lemmas have broad colourless margins.  One glume much larger than the other and lemmas larger than both.  No awns.  3-10 flowers per spikelet.  Ligule short, 1-2 mm, but rounded, not cut off square like Red Fescue, another saltmarsh grass which can look similar but has awned lemmas.  Lemmas 3-4 mm long (only 2 mm in Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass)

Other features: Forms dense tufts on bare mud or muddy shingle, trapping debris from the tide with its creeping stems to build up a soil and eventually making a continuous saltmarsh turf.  The much rarer Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass does not have creeping stems (stolons).

 

Pucinellia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye

  Pucinellia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
1 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

 

Pucinellia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
25 June 2003 Armadale, Skye

 

Pucinellia maritima

Photo Carl Farmer
1 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye
 

Tuft that may begin the process of saltmarsh formation


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