Found on 46th Floor, downtown Chicago green roof

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ClifflineGardens
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14
Found on 46th Floor, downtown Chicago green roof

Found growing happily, in alpine conditions. Note seed head, and glaucous foliage.

Novak
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-10-07

It's tough to identify grasses from photographs, but it looks like this could be Sorghastrum nutans. That species can have quite glaucous leaves.

Janet
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, zone 7a
Webmaster for the Delaware Valley Chapter (dvcnargs.org)

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Hi, GreenRoofer.  Welcome to the site.  

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

ClifflineGardens
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14

Sorghastrum nutans is 4 feet tall and has a panicle flower, this is 4 inches tall and has a spike flower. Main axis of seed head doesn't branch, and the spikelets are stalkless. I transplanted one of these, it's growing on my windowsill. Still quite green and it's 13F today in Chicago. Makes me think it must be an alpine plant and not from the prairie.

Thanks for the welcome.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Wow.  With regard to the size of the grass, the two pics almost seem antithetical.  The left photo seemed so easy to discern that at a glance, I assumed your gloved finger in the right photo was a shoe!!!  I wonder if Janet had the same misconception...

I wish I could help with the identity. But, I am impressed that you took the time to really examine the plant.  I see you already know that an answer can only be as good as the question asked. :)

Welcome to the forum!  You'll find a lot of good things here, as well as the general nargs.org site.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

ClifflineGardens
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14

Here's a pic of the same species on my windowsill. There were three of the species, and I relocated one to my home for further study and hopefully propagation. It's a fascinating little species and I'd love to know what it is. Either way, I'll try to breed it. On the skyscrapers, there aren't that many plant volunteers, but it's possible this was planted from a commercial nursery and only a handful survived (likely in fact). The grass to the right was also a skyscraper green roof survivor, but I'm less curious about that one.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

ClifflineGardens
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14

Here's the environment it came from

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Cool little grass for sure- hope you can find an id.- grasses that small are hard to find- does 4 inches include the height of seed heads? I wonder if it would stay as small in less extreme conditions...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Afloden
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-15

I had the same assumption about the thumb in the leaf photo! I assumed it must be knee-hgh or so. Maybe it is an Alopecurus species? A good form of A. geniculatus? A close-up of the spike would help a lot.

ClifflineGardens
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2013-01-14

Here's the seed head, I havent stratified the seed yet.

ClifflineGardens dot com

Fort Collins, CO zone 5b

Afloden
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-15

My best guess from the images is still an Alopecurus species. Grasses are difficult and for ones I don't know first hand require some time under the scope to observe individual spikelets.

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