Blue Moor Grass

Blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea) in a tussocky carpet (c) Duncan Hutt

Blue moor grass with anthers on the flower spike

Blue moor grass flowers before the anthers emerge

Grasses may not be the most obviously interesting plants but there are a few that catch your attention.  Blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea) is a very rare plant in Northumberland, living in only a handful of sites.  At the Millburn Nature reserve near Elsdon it grows in abundance in one small area and is scattered elsewhere.  It forms a distinctive carpet of gold with a hint of blue, the old dead leaves and the pollen bearing anthers giving the gold while the flower spike below is a metallic blue.  In time the new green leaves will emerge softening the carpet from its current harshness. The grass grows in clumps giving a tussocky swathe over the limestone outcrop on which it grows best; it’s a limestone (and other base rich rock) specialist of northern Britain.

Blue Moor Grass is not to be confused with the somewhat more common, and indeed, dominating purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) which covers many hillsides in the area and has a tall purple flower spike.


About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Flowering Plants, Northumberland and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blue Moor Grass

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Interesting: your final photograph looks just like a sprig of lavender, and that’s only the blue one – how much more of a resemblance would there be with the purple grass?

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