Grassy Tails


I’m not sure of the identification of this grass, photographed in Lesotho but a new book we’ve acquired on the grasses of Southern Africa provides me with such a poetic range, I’m enchanted with possibilities.

Could it be Boat Grass or the slightly rude-sounding One Finger Grass? Caterpillar Grass or Carrot-seed Grass? Eight-day Grass or Thimble Grass? Ratstail Dropseed or just plain old Bull Grass?

I like the sound of Small Canary Grass but it’s a problem weed and often poisoned by farmers so that’s a bummer.

Staggers Grass seems to match Large Quaking Grass in name but not in type.

Is Hairy Love Grass as much of a turn-off as Sticky Love Grass? Not as bad as Stink Love Grass or as sad as Weeping Love Grass.

What if you misread a message from a False Signal Grass and get lost? Maybe a Star Grass will put you right. In a family emergency would you go for Tough Love Grass or Rescue grass?

Pricking the imagination as you brush past the names are Stab Grass, Turpentine Grass ( I can smell this one!), Snowflake Grass, Silky Autumn Grass, (plain and lovely), Giant Spear Grass, Wire Grass and Wool Grass.

There’s a host of poems or stories seeding from this patch of veld.

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