orchard grass

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orchard grass



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 MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.

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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Because of its prostrate growth habit, in early clipping studies it did not compare in yields with taller growing species such as bromegrass, orchard grass, or reed canary grass.
Bluegrass with a legume will produce nearly as much beef as orchard grass, timothy, or fescue with the same legume.
Orchard grass is a versatile perennial bunch-type grass (no rhizomes) that establishes rapidly and is suitable for hay, silage, or pasture.
The botanical name for orchard grass is Dactylis glomerata, and Figure 20-3 shows the orchard grass plant.
Pollen from grasses reaches its peak in the central United States, as bluegrass, orchard grass, timothy, red top and Bermuda grass all continue to flower.
Other commonly occurring plant species included orchard grass (overall occurrence = 27%, range among plots = 0-81%), alfalfa (25%, 0-82%), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense, 9%, 0-26%), red rescue (Festuca rubra; 9%, 0-70%), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale; 5%, 0-33%) and prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola; 5%, 0-22%).
Red-winged blackbird nests, however, were found in a wider variety of plant species, including smooth brome, wild parsnip, thistles, orchard grass and reed canary grass.
Grasshopper sparrow nests were found exclusively in smooth brome or orchard grass litter.
Mowing orchard grass is essential to reduce competition, especially for young trees.
Orchard grass gets started early from the roots and produces strawlike stems by the end of June when growing conditions are good.
The dominant grasses are orchard grass, timothy, and annual blue grass; but there are many more grasses in the mix.
Bear in mind orchard grass received its name because it grows well in semi-shade.