Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.
Scientific name: Danthonia spicata (L.) P. Beauv. ex Roem. & Schult.
Common name(s): poverty oatgrass, wild oat-grass, poverty grass, poverty wild oatgrass, bonnet-grass, turkey-strip, wildcat grass, wire-grass, old fog
Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)
– reproduces by seed. Flowers from July to September.
Stems 1′ to 2 1/2′ tall and smooth. Sheathes shorter than the internodes. Leaf blades are rough, 5″ to 8″ long and 1/8″ wide or less. Ligules are very short. Seed heads are 1″ to 2″ long. The bent, spreading awn closely twisted at the base.
– reproduces by seed
-fibrous roots without rhizomes or stolons
– may be confused with D. compressa; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage
- man-made or disturbed areas
- cliffs, grasslands, meadows, mountain summits, rocky slopes, woodlands
- native grass species
- important spring foraging species for wildlife
- low nutritional value
- use of herbicides may not be necessary when poverty oatgrass is present at a low density
- (<15 plants of poverty oatgrass)
- Adding inorganic Nitrogen fertilizer is counterproductive when this species is present at a high density as it takes up as much fertilizer as lowbush blueberry. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30978227/)