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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 21, 2007

From: Victor, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Difference between Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus trachycaulus
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What is the difference between Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus trachycaulus.

ANSWER:

The differences are minor. The species of the genus Pseudoroegneria have been included in Elymus by some authorities. The most distinguishable morphological difference is in the awns of the lemmas of the two species. The awns of Pseudoroegneria spicata are typically sharply reflexed and diverge from the culm giving the plant a rather unkempt appearance, while the awns of Elymus trachycaulus - if present - are usually straight and are held more-or-less parallel to the culm. The Grass Manual on the Web is an excellent resource for more information on these and other North American grasses.
 

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