Moor grass meadows

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After abun­dant tor­ren­tial rains, the rain­wa­ter pass­es by chan­nels of ero­sion. She takes tiny par­ti­cles of loam. These chan­nels suc­ceed in small flat depres­sions of ground in which pile up with time the par­ti­cles of loam brought by the water. Per­ma­nent accu­mu­la­tion con­sti­tutes a fine lay­er of sed­i­ments which pre­vents the imme­di­ate seep­age of the water. In these depres­sions of ground, the soil remains there­fore longer humid as in the more rigid slopes of the dry lawns.

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The Pur­ple moor grass forms big tufts.

These humid con­di­tions of ground in depres­sions allowed the train­ing of a plant soci­ety well apart, the mead­ow in molin­ie.

In the mead­ows in molin­ie, they find a lot of kinds of nice known flow­ers of mead­ows, among which here are the most typ­i­cal: Blue­bells, Car­damine des Prés, big Mar­garet, Loti­er cor-niculé, lancéolé Plan­tain, bul­bous Crow­foot, jacée Cen­tau­ry, Cen­tau­ry scabi­ous. One are also found there rare kinds as the South­ern adder-stongue (Ophioglos­sum vul­ga­tum), Inule with leaves of wil­low (Inu­la salic­i­na) or Gym­nadène with long spur (Gym­nadea conopsea).

The mead­ows in molin­ie dis­tin­guish them­selves by their as a whole late devel­op­ment, which is due main­ly to the slow warm­ing of the humid soil.

Typical species of the meadow in molinie

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South­ern adder­stongue
Ophioglos­sum vul­ga­tum
Wil­lowleaf yel­low­head
Inu­la salic­i­na
Fra­grant orchid
Gym­nade­nia conopsea

Purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea)

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The pan­icule has fine branch­es with ears.

The Pur­ple moor grass is part of the big fam­i­ly of grass­es. The long-term grass dis­tin­guish­es itself by its growth in thick tufts. The round stems from 50 to 120 cm high have knots only near the soil and which are very close to some of oth­ers. Else­where stems do not have knots.

In the mead­ows in molin­ie the molène pre­vail. She appears only in sum­mer and only in autumn in all her splen­dour. Dur­ing blos­som­ing from July till Sep­tem­ber, the mead­ows in molin­ie show a blue-pur­ple colour, due to the colour­ing of the pan­icule of the molène.

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The Ger­man pop­u­lar name trans­lat­ed lit­er­al­ly (grass with pipe) points out that the grass was used to clean pipes. Its long stems devoid of knots take part par­tic­u­lar­ly well in this effect.

In autumn, these mead­ows dis­tin­guish them­selves by the gold­en yel­low colour of leaves and of stems of the molène fad­ing.

In win­ter, stems and leaves die. There remains only the low­er part of the stem which stores nutri­ments for the shoot of next year.

The molène is very spread in Europe. But it is pos­si­ble to find her also in North Africa, in Asia of the North and of the west.

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