While walking in Golden Gate Park late this afternoon, I saw how ordinary lawn grass will produce stems and seeds when it is allowed to grow for a few months. Near Ocean Beach, I saw a few clumps of grass, likely fescue, arranged around the base of a tree. While the rest of the lawn had just been trimmed, these grasses were too close to the trunk of the tree to be cut by the lawn mowers of the park workers. The stems of these plants rose up at least a foot and a half high over the leafy sameness of the lawn that surrounded the tree.
Also went to the Sloat Garden Center this afternoon to look at grasses. At Sloat, I can at least be sure that I'm looking at a certain grass because the name is actually on the green plastic tub that holds the grass. I photographed about eight different grasses, including Shenandoah Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum Shenandoah), Chinese Fountain Grass (Pennisetum orientale), Red Bunny Tails (Pennisetum messiacum) (in the photo above) and Little Pinky (Pennisetum macroctacium), which I bought to raise at home.
I have to say that I was overwhelmed after about ten minutes at Sloat. There is such a difference about a tub of grass sold by a commercial plant distributor and grass discovered on a forgotten path in Golden Gate Park.
That said, I can't wait to replant Little Pinky and see how it grows over the semester.