Grass identification takes patience. On a late July afternoon while cycling in Toronto’s Don Valley, I spotted an interesting tall grass growing in shallow water.
The next morning I returned with a couple of grass field guides and my camera.
In order to identify it, I could easily eliminate all grasses which do not grow in wetland areas.
Then I had a good look at the inflorescence.
The inflorescence is delicate and individual branches are thin and wiry.
Cut Grass fits this description but the leaves of the plant I was looking did not have sharp edges.
My plant is in the Glyceria family. Glyceria is Greek for “sweet” and the seed of some members of this family are sweet to the taste.
Glyceria is a widespread genus of grass family common across Eurasia, Australia, North Africa and the Americas. In North America it is called Manna Grass.
In Glyceria each spikelet has 4 – 9 florets.
The word “manna” comes from the Bible and refers to the substance miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness.
This species, Glyceria grandis, has leaves which are 15 – 30 cm long.
They are about 2 cm wide and have a prominent midvein.
American Manna Grass grows in open shallow waters or mud.