20 September 2007

Grasses in the wind

I'm reading the great 1995 book, In Full View: Three Ways of Seeing California Plants by Glenn Keator and Linda Yamane, with illustrations by Ann Lewis. The entry on grass is one of the best things I've read on the subject.

The authors point out that most grasses, sedges and rushes depend on wind pollination rather than being pollinated through the help of birds or insects. This is a primary reason why grasses do not have colorful flowers nor have certain types of nectar to attract insects. Many grasses open their small, modest flowers in the winter and spring when the winds are the most prevalent. In fact, the shape of grass seeds allows them to fly for a maximum distance when caught by the wind.

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