Monday, June 22, 2009

Porcupine grass

Porcupine grass is one of my favorites. (I have lots of favorites.) It is a cool season grass so it shows up much earlier than the other typical prairie grasses. The best part is the seeds. The seeds themselves are long and covered with tiny barbs - just like porcupine quills. Then they have really long tails. Not only do the tails make the seeds easy to to throw like darts (if you throw them at your companions, the sharp seeds stick to their clothing) but they actually screw the seeds into the ground. Yep- as the tails dry, they twist. When they get wet, they straighten again. This twisting action literally screws the seeds into the ground.
After the burn, it is easy to see the porcupine grass. The seeds are getting ready to release any time now.

Another interesting note, the part of the property that we burned last year is full of sweet clover. That is typical the second year after a burn.

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