Glyceria striata (Fowl Manna Grass)
|Also known as:||Pale Manna Grass|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; wet; shallow water, swamps, marshes, streams, ponds, lakeshores, wet ditches, open woods|
|Fruiting season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 4 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowering head is an open panicle 4 to 8 inches long, very lax, typically nodding to one side, the branches ascending but drooping at the tips with 15 to 50 spikelets (flower clusters). Spikelets are stalked, lance-oval in outline, slightly flattened, 2.5 to 4 mm long, with 3 to 6 fertile florets. 1 or more sterile florets may be at the tip.
At the base of a spikelet is a pair of bracts (glumes), both egg-shaped with blunt tips, papery thin, whitish to purple, obscurely 1-nerved, the lower glume .4 to .9 mm long, the upper glume .5 to 1.3 mm long. Surrounding a floret is a pair of bracts (lemma and palea). Lemmas are green to dark purplish, elliptic to broadly oval-lance shaped, pointed or jagged at the tip, awnless, hairless but rough textured, 1.5 to 2 mm long, prominently 7-nerved, with a papery white edging. The palea is as long as the lemma or nearly so, 2-nerved and minutely notched at the tip with the tips pointing inward.
Leaves and stems:
Sheaths are tubular, the edges fused at the front (a closed sheath) for the entire length or nearly so, hairless and smooth to slightly rough, and green to purplish. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is thin and white translucent, 1 to 3 mm long, rounded to jagged along the top edge. Nodes are smooth. Stems are multiple from the base in a loose clump, erect to ascending, slender and smooth.
Fowl Manna Grass is common in Minnesota and widespread throughout the temperate regions of North America. It favors a wide range of wet habitats from open marshes, wetlands and lakeshores to semi-shaded woodland ponds. It is similar in form to the related American Manna Grass (Glyceria grandis), which is most easily distinguished by the larger spikelet (to 7 mm long), lemma (2 to 2.7 mm long) and ligule (3 to 6 mm long). Some references list multiple varieties of G. striata, but these are not recognized in Minnesota.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Fowl Manna Grass plants
- Fowl Manna Grass plants
- Fowl Manna Grass in wet woods
- Fowl Manna Grass in an open wetland
- scan of panicle
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Kittson, Lake, Pope and Ramsey counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?