This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Since the article in last number was written I have obtained specimens of Rhode Island Bent grass from Charles H. Potter, which were cut sufficiently young to retain and show the characteristic inflorescence. On submitting these to Joseph W. Congdon, Esq., of East Greenwich, an accomplished botanist, he reports as follows:
"After a thorough and careful examination, I am satisfied that the species is Agrostis canina, L., or Brown Bent of the books. The flowers when carefully examined with a glass, show that there is only one husk or palea, wrapped around the grain. On the back of the palea you find a long bent awn, growing out of it near its base. This usually projects more or less out of the flower, but is hardly noticeable to the naked eye. It usually disappears, being very fragile, after the grass has blossomed."
These observations which I have confirmed, seem to leave no doubt as to the species. There are one or two varieties of Agrostis canina, native to the grassy mountains of New England. Whether the Rhode Island Bent is one of these, or different, remains to be ascertained. It is certainly an upland grass, and is in thorough possession of the soil in Rhode Island, as if to the manor born. Horticulturally and agriculturally at least, it seems to have been hitherto unrecognized, except in southeastern New England.
[As stated in a brief note in our last, this excellent lawn grass is certainly the Agrostis canina. Ed. G. M.]