FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Deschampsia cespitosa, Tufted Hair-grass

Deschampsia cespitosa; the Tufted Hair-grass is a tall grass which can grow up to more than one meter. The spikelets on the panicle have only two flowers. It can best be recognized by the rough, furrowed leaves with conspicuous nerves. It is in fact on the nerves where the bristles that cause the roughness are situated on the leaves. They form large tussocks. A rather similar species, the Bering's Tufted Hair-grass (D. beringensis) forms mats rather than tussocks. It grows wherever soil conditions are rich in nutrients, like manured grasslands and around homesteads. It can be found in many regions of Iceland except for the desert regions around and north of the Vatnajjökull and the higher altitudes of the north-west. As with other "panicle" grasses one can be confused by the fact that the inflorescences appear quite different in the early stages than the later stages because the panicles at first haven't spread yet.
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The Tufted Hair-grass is a member of the grass family (Poaceae, also known as Gramineae). The Icelandic name of the Tufted Hair-grass is Snarrótarpuntur.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise


inflorescence
detail of flowering stems
early inflorescence stage
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inflorescence

detail of flowering stems

early inflorescence stage

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