Coastal Barnyard Grass

Fall is a great time of year for grass ID! Echinochloa walteri, member of the Poaceae family, is an annual herb that can reach six feet. According to the the Flora of Virginia it is frequent to common in the estuarine and maritime zones of the Virginia’s Coastal Plain. The flowers are only a few millimeters in length and are aggregated in a branched cluster at the top of the stem. The small scales at the base of each flower have elongate needle-like projections, or awns, that give a bristly appearance to the flowering and fruiting clusters; making it easy to pick out in the fall. Especially easy if you can be on a VNPS field trip with Gary Fleming! Common names include Coastal Barnyard Grass, Swamp Barnyard Grass,  Giant Cockspur Grass, and Walter’s Grass. It was named for Thomas Walter (1740-1789), an American botanist who produced the first complete catalog of the plants of South Carolina

Coastal Barnyard Grass, Echinochloa walteri at False Cape Park, Virginia Beach

Coastal Barnyard Grass, Echinochloa walteri at False Cape Park, Virginia Beach

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