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Canary grass - Phalaris canariensis, click for a larger image
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Canary grass - Phalaris canariensis
Family - Poaceae

Canary Grass belongs to the Poaceae family.  Native originally to the Mediterranean region, it is now grown commercially for birdseed, this supposedly giving it the name.  It is a large coarse grass with erect hairless stems growing usually to between 0.5–1.8m (2–6ft) tall depending on ground conditions.  The ligules are prominent and membranous, 0.25in (0.6cm) long and rounded at the apex.

Flat tapering leaves are are 9–25cm (3.5–10in) long, 0.6–1.9cm (0.25–0.75in) wide, and can be rough.  Clusters of variegated compact erect panicles sometimes slightly spreading ranging from 8–40cm (3–16in) long with branches 1–4cm (0.4–1.6in) long.  Single flowers occur in dense clusters in May to mid–June or August.  Inflorescences are green or slightly purple at first darkening to a light brown.  Seeds are shiny brown, it is used as bird food generally mixed with other seeds reduce costs.

Canary grass - Phalaris canariensis, click for a larger imagePhoto © Canary grass - Phalaris canariensis, click for a larger image
Crown ©2016
nonnativespecies.org
Canary grass - Phalaris canariensis, click for a larger image, image is in the public domain
Image 1885 Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé

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