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Poverty Oatgrass
Danthonia spicata

So, it took me a while to figure out why this little clumpy grass is called “Poverty Oatgrass”. Turns out it is because of it’s preference for poor soil.

I think it’s a lovely little grass. The dead leaves curl up around the base (hence the other common name) and it is rather cute. Would probably make a nice ground cover.

Alternate Names: Curly Grass
Size:  1'-2' tall.
Family: Poaceae (Grass Family) 
Habitat: Sterile, sandy, dry, bare, open sites in full sun or partial shade. Does not tolerate competition very well. 
Identification: "Poverty wild oat grass is a perennial bunchgrass with wiry clumps of naked stems and tufts of curly, basal leaves. The inflorescence is small and delicate at the top of the 4 in. to 2 ft. stems. Clump-forming cool-season grass often bluish-green. Does not persist in fertile soil." (Ontario Native Plants 2002)

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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