Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 53

were several botanical terms I had to absorb as Miller launched into her identification of a couple grasses growing beside the road. “Node,” it turns out, is another word for the joints on a grass stem, which is called a culm. Those 2-ranked, alternate, parallel-veined leaves of grasses have two parts, the sheath, which surrounds the culm, and the blade, which sticks out from the culm. Where the blade joins the sheath at the culm, on the inside usually is a papery structure or ring of hairs called a ligule. I should have identified the first grass Miller showed us, but I was so intent on grasping the botanical terms that I didn’t even recognize the notorious Japanese stiltgrass until Miller named it. Also known as “Nepalese browntop,” “Mary’s grass,” “Nepal grass,” and “Japanese grass,” Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was accidentally introduced into the U.S., in Tennessee, probably because the dried grass was used as packing material for porcelain. Since then, this invasive has spread to eastern states from New York to Florida. Japanese stiltgrass thrives in disturbed areas. In the last several years, it has invaded the poorly logged portion of our property that we purchased after it was cut 18 years ago. It spreads both by rooting at its nodes and by its seeds. Each plant produces between 100 and 1,000 seeds that remain viable in the soil for at least three years. A native of not only Japan, but also Korea, China, Malaysia and India, it seems to thrive in eastern North America almost everywhere from forests to fields, wetlands to roadside ditches, gas and powerline corridors to lawns and gardens. Japanese stiltgrass doesn’t flower until late summer or early fall, but it was easy enough to identify the silvery stripe of reflective hairs down the middle of the upper surface of its alternately-arranged, asymmetrical, lance-shaped leaves. To identify the next grass, the terminology was even more complex for my aging brain to grasp, and I never did sort it out until much later when I sat down with JULY 2009 Agnes Chase’s excellent First Book of Grasses. First published in 1922, the Smithsonian Institution printed a third edition in 1959 in honor of Chase’s 90th birthday. My own 1977 hardcover copy was the second reprint of that edition. Despite nearly 60 years engaged in productive scientific work that resulted in more than 70 scientific papers, she is best know for this little gem of a book. Chase was a self-taught botanist, but she became the dean of agrostology (grasses) after many years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture working for Albert Spear Hitchcock. She helped him compile the Manual of the Grasses of the United States, which she illustrated lavishly with her drawings, and then she revised all 1,040 pages of the book after his death. She also made two exploring trips to Brazil and another to Venezuela in the 1920s and ’30s when she was in her 50s and 60s. Botanical collector Ynes Mexia who spent a couple days collecting with her in Brazil, described her as “almost a human grass. One who lives, sleeps and dreams nothing but grasses.” Chase’s clear drawings and explanatory material finally made sense of Miller’s insistence that we must look carefully at a grass flower in order to identify it. A grass spikelet is the equivalent of a leafy flowering branch and consists of the flowers themselves or “florets,” which are held in the axils of small green bracts called lemmas. They, in turn, are enclosed in a second bract — the palea. The equivalent of a stem is called a rachilla. Below the grass flowers are two bracts without flowers — the glumes. All of these terms are important because often a grass can be identified only by its spikelets and their arrangements, for example, the shape of the glumes and the lemmas. As we worked our way through the next grass, examining the spikelets in detail, Miller eventually identified it as Poa trivialis or rough bluegrass, a native of Europe but often cultivated here and found in wet 53

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009
Life &Times of the Whitetail
Contents
Bald Eagles along the Susquehanna
A Price to Pay
In Broad Daylight
Pennsylvania Elk With a Flintlock
Allan and Granddad’s .44-40 Colt Lightning
The History of State Game Lands Acquisition
The Year that Changed My Life
Where’s The Gun?
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Life &Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Bald Eagles along the Susquehanna
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - A Price to Pay
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - In Broad Daylight
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Pennsylvania Elk With a Flintlock
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Allan and Granddad’s .44-40 Colt Lightning
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - The History of State Game Lands Acquisition
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - The Year that Changed My Life
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Where’s The Gun?
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - July 2009 - Cover4
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