West Highland Flora

Purple Moor Grass


Molinia caerulea

 

Molinia caerulea

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

Very common on wet peaty moorland

Spikelets c 5-9 mm long.  Leaves c 3-6 mm wide.  Stems c 45-90 cm tall.

ID: Long narrow purple spikes make this grass easy to recognize once known.  Ligule consists of a fringe of hairs.  Each stem has a single node.

Other features: Forms large tussocks which often cover the ground over a wide area.  Leaves die down in winter and detach from stems to lie in curly straw-coloured heaps.  Spikelets have 1-4 florets, without awns.  Some leaves arise from the base and some from a node about 5 cm above it.  The area in between becomes thickened in autumn.

 

Molinia caerulea

Photo Carl Farmer
3 Aug 2002 Portree, Skye

 

Molinia caerulea

Photo Carl Farmer
11 Aug 2003 Torrin, Skye
Left-most spikelet c 7 mm long

  Molinia caerulea

Photo Carl Farmer
11 Aug 2003 Torrin, Skye
 

 

Molinia caerulea

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Feb 2003 Portree, Skye
 

The loose dead leaves which cover the moorland in winter


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