Did I discover variegated grass?

treeguy123(AL 7b)May 23, 2012

Is this variegated grass, or something else like a nutrient deficiency etc.?

I was mowing during the day and I came upon something at the edge of the lawn that reminded me of the few baby variegated Yuccas I have, but as I looked closer I saw it was grass.

I'm not sure what kind of grass, but I know it's not from any variegated grass parent. This would be a brand new mutation if it really is variegated grass. I mowed around it and I plan on transplanting it to the garden bed soon.

You can see the green grass on the same root system right next to the two possible variegated ones:

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It's a tough one. It looks like a few different plants, but the hairy foliage and narrow low foliage stumps me.

It has some characteristics of these:

Phalaris arundinacae, Ribbon Grass...but it's too short.

Pleioblastus fortunei, Dwarf Whitestripe Bamboo...but again, too short.

Allium tricoccum, Wild Leek, Ramp...this may be the closest. It's a Lily, and the leaves grow straight of the ground. Sometimes it will show variegated leaves. It usually has wider leaves. If it's a wild Allium, you'll know when you transplant it, because you'll find small bulb-like tubers under it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 6:42AM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

The closest grass I think it looks like is Yellow Fox Tail grass (Setaria glauca), but I'm still not 100% sure. The green part and two possible variegated parts are from the same root system I'm pretty sure. If it's a variegated mutation it probably originated from the base of the original green grass clump.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:30PM
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If it's a Setaria, you'll know when it blooms. Their flower is very distinctive.

S. glauca:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:51PM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

Thanks, I've seen those Yellow foxtail grass flowers in late summer or fall around the house.

Another possibility I think might be Thin Paspalum (Paspalum setaceum), I wish it were this since it's at least a short lived perennial.

I read Yellow foxtail is an annual, so the variegation would be lost when it dies in the winter, I wonder if I kept it as a houseplant if it would live for years?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 4:56PM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

Here are more pictures:

The only grass I've found so far that it might be is Yellow Foxtail Grass (Setaria glauca) or Thin Paspalum (Paspalum setaceum), but I'm still not 100% sure.
Here are some pictures of the same grass type but just the typical green, you can see how fuzzy the entire leaves are, even the leaf edges have hairs on it:

You can see how I spotted it, the grass stood out when mowing outside of our centipede sod area:

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:26AM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

I'm now thinking Field Paspalum (Paspalum laeve).

Here is a link that might be useful: Paspalum laeve

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Whatever it is, it's kind of nice looking, and definitely deserves the chance to grow out and see if it is a stable mutation. I had a bamboo do that once on a new culm, the foliage was heavily variegated with cream and yellow stripes, but unfortunately, the rhizome only put out plain green culms beyond that one, no way except possibly tissue culture to propagate it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:07PM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

Thanks, I've read if any green comes out in a variegated plants then cut back the green parts to encourage the variegated parts to grow out strong, because the green can take over and out-compete the usually weaker growing variegated parts. So that's what I might do (try and starve the green half to death by keeping it's leaves cut very low).

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 2:01PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Looks like bulbous oat grass to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bulbous Oat Grass

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 3:19PM
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still cool either way, maybe water it really well to loosen the soil and pot it. You can divide it a couple times before Fall and you can replant it and take chances on those. Any seeds can be replanted, but may not all carry the trait.. Select, select select/ Also, if the trait goes away in the new pots with good potting soil, it was a nutritional issue but I don't think so...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:38AM
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any updates???

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 2:07AM
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