orchard grass

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orchard grass

orchard grass or cocksfoot, widely distributed perennial grass (Dactylis glomerata) native to Eurasia and N Africa and extensively naturalized in the United States. It is cultivated as a hay grass more tolerant of drought and shade than timothy but less winter-hardy. A variety with silvery-striped leaves is grown as an ornamental. Orchard grass is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orchard Grass


(Dactylis glomerata), a perennial grass of the family Gramineae. It is an apical, loosely bushy grass forming tall, leafy stalks (about 100 cm) with many long, soft, radical leaves. It may be found in natural grass stands all over Europe and in some parts of Asia. It is widely distributed in the forest-steppe and steppe zones and in the mountain regions of the USSR, with the exception of the southern Crimea, the Buriat ASSR, Yakut ASSR, and the Far East. Orchard grass is a shade-loving plant, and thus grows especially abundantly in sparse forests, glades, areas of felled timber, and on forest edges. It grows predominantly in fertile loose soils rich in nitrogen and is sensitive to excess moisture.

Orchard grass, a valuable fodder plant, was first cultivated in the 19th century. On well fertilized meadows, two mowings yield 60–70 centners of good hay from one hectare. It is a good animal feed both in pasture and in the form of hay. During the flowering phase 100 kg of green forage contains 22.7 feed units and 2.1 kg of digestible protein; 100 kg of hay contains 55 feed units and 4.5 kg of digestible protein. Orchard grass grows back quickly after mowing or grazing. It is sown both in grass mixtures and alone. In grass mixtures the usual sowing is 5 to 8 kg per ha (as much as 8 to 10 kg in mountain regions); in pure sowings it is 18–20 kg per ha. When orchard grass is grown for seeds, the seeding rate in solid planting is 14 kg and in wide-row planting, 8 kg. Orchard grass reaches full development in its third year and may grow five to six years or longer in a grass stand.

The seed yield is 2 centners from one ha (sometimes up to 5 or 6 centners). The weight of 1,000 seeds is 1.2 g. Regional varieties of orchard grass include Dedinovskaia 4, lygeva 220, Krasnodarskaia 20, Priekul’skaia 30, Leningradskaia 853, and Khutorskaia.


Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Terry RA, Tilley JMA (1964) The digestibility of the leaves and stems of perennial ryegrass, cocksfoot, timothy, tall fescue, lucerne and sainfoin, as measured by an in vitro procedure.
Plots were planted with different combinations of four species: red clover, white clover, perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot. Some had just one species, others had all four.
The inter-relationships between heading date, yield, chemical composition and digestibility in varieties of perennial ryegrass, timothy, cocksfoot, and meadow fescue.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) Pollen from trees like the silver birch, ash, oak andLondon plane, and grasses such as timothy, rye, cocksfoot, meadow and fescue.
Effect of gibberellic acid on inflorescence production in cocksfoot plants with choke (Epichloe typhina).
A particularly popular variety is Cocksfoot, which has broad leaves making it easy to bite.
This a long-term mixture containing Lofa festulolium, late perennial ryegrass, cocksfoot, meadow fescue, timothy and white clover.
Clough TJ (1990) Response of Yatsyn ryegrass, Matua prairie grass and Wana cocksfoot to phosphorus and potassium.
Tea as the most popular beverage crop in China can selectively absorb F from soil and thus results in higher F concentrations in tea leaves, compared with other plants including pine (Pinus banksiana), subterranean clover (Trifolium subterranean), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium), and Salicornia brachiate [10,11].
On the other hand, in cocksfoot [37], barley [30], and Rumex spp.