I have been able to go to two sessions on grass identification at Mt Pleasant in the northern Mt Lofty Ranges. These were aimed at beginners and were as basic as deciding whether a plant was a grass or not, parts of grasses so that we could understand what is talked about in the Flora guides and deciding such seemingly simple things like the difference between a panicle and a raceme. It took me ages to ‘get it’.
Fortunately our tutors were able to speak layman’s language and make it all understandable and take us to the next stage of using the botanical terminology. In a few weeks we will have a field trip to help us recognise the plants rather than the pieces we were using indoors.
I always fear finding myself propagating introduced species of grasses. I am on a quest for a suitable grass to use as a lawn substitute that will not require excessive water to look good. I heard ‘lawn’ mentioned in one of the conversations, sat up to take notice of what was being said, only to have the other tutor say ‘oh, but…’ and sure enough what was being said applied to a higher rainfall area. Even though we are only 40 minutes drive away, we are in a definite rain shadow here.