Culms 5-12 dm; sheaths scaberulous; ligules 5-7 mm; blades elongate, 3-8 mm wide; infl long-exsert, 1-2 dm; spikelets 3-6-fld; glumes lance-acuminate, usually ciliate on the keel; lemmas 5-8 mm, usually ciliate on the keel, awnless or with a terminal awn to 1 mm; 2n=14, 28. Native of Europe, intr. in moist fields, meadows, lawns, and roadsides throughout our range and most of N. Amer.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
This species has now escaped in all parts of the state, commonly so in limestone areas. It has been sown for both hay and pasture. It affords early pasture and is drought resistant. I think its use is now on the decline.
FNA 2007, Jepson Herbaria-Berkeley, Field Guide to Forest & Mtn. Plants of N AZ 2009, Ann. Checklist GCNP 1987
Common Name: orchardgrass Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Introduced perennial bunchgrass 20-140 cm tall, with tufted, triangular panicles and a flattened stem base. Ecology: Found in meadows, orchards, woodland borders, fence rows, pastures, and generally in areas that have undergone disturbance at 5000-8000 ft (1500-2400 m); flowers April-July. Distribution: Found throughout the United States. Notes: Native to Eurasia and Africa, was introduced as a source of hay and forage grass. Provides nutritious forage for livestock, deer, and geese. Grows early in the Spring and grows well during cool summer months due to its deep (often 2 ft. long) roots. Etymology: Dactylis is from the Latin Dactylis for a grape or grass, and Greek daktylos for finger, referring to the inflorescense resembling a finger, while glomerata means clustered. Editor: LKearsley, 2012