seeds of Phalaris brachystachys, Shortspike Canary grass, Confused Canary grass

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Phalaris brachystachy Samen
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Phalaris brachystachy, commonly called shortspike canary grass or confused canary grass, is one of the grass species of the family Poaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Phalaris brachystachy var. robusta, Phalaris canariensis var. brachystachy and Phalaris quadrivalvis. Other common names for the plant are alpiste vano and alpista brava. Phalaris brachystachy may have its origins in the Mediterranean region but has expanded its reach throughout Europe. One can also expect to find this grass species in North Africa, Western Asia, and Northern America. Active growth happens in autumn and spring while summer and winter provide periods of rest. Phalaris brachystachy is an annual upright plant that can grow to lengths of between 30 and 90 cm. The flower heads are in the form of solitary thorns 1.5 to 4 cm in length and 0.8 to 1.8 cm in width. The leaves are smooth, erect and have an outer sheath. The seeds, on the other hand, are shiny and smooth. Unlike grass species like Phalaris aquatica, Phalaris brachystachy is a far from ideal as pasture for livestock. Several selections of the plant contain compounds which will most likely be poisonous. A compound called gramine, for example, can result in brain damage and death in sheep. One should, therefore, avoid exposing his/her animals to fields that have this grass species. Despite its toxicity, Phalaris brachystachy, can serve an ornamental function. The fact that it’s short ensures that it can grow in clumps which then serve as an ideal foreground for landscaping beds. The plant can withstand moderately cold conditions, but care must be taken to protect it in case the cold intensifies. A unique characteristic of the plant is the degree of variability to be found in seeds that belong to one batch or plants that have grown together. This variability derives from the extensive reproduction that occurs between the many variants.
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