The Sweet Grasses {Glyceria) have a simple paleae; and their many florets, headed by the two glumes, form little spikelets on the panicle. There are four varieties of sweet grasses Which inhabit watery places. The Reedy Sweet Grass (G. aquatica) grows to the height of four feet by the margin of rivers, and has stiff sword-like leaves. The Floating Sweet Grass (G.fluitans) is common by the margin of ponds. On salty marshes we may find the Reflexed Sweet Grass (G. distans); but the Hardy variety (6r. rigida) is a small plant frequenting the tops of walls and sandy places.

The Cock's-foot Grass is perhaps as well known as any. We have only one British species (Dactylus glomerata), but its coarse herbage and distantly branched panicle, the stem resembling the claws of a cock's foot, mark its peculiarity. Its characteristics are two sharp pointed glumes, which are keeled, and enclose from three to six florets.

The Heath Grass (Triodia decumbens) is a rigid grass, growing in tufts, with round paleae and concave glumes. The panicle, which grows on a stem which often leans at an acute angle towards the ground, has four florets on each spike. It is common on swampy ground and on moors.

On muddy salt marshes the Cord Grass (Spartina stricta) may be found. Its leaves are rolled in, ribbed, and pointed.

Of Dog's-tail Grasses (Cynosurus) we have two species: they have both glumes and paleae awned, and the florets are put upon the spike in pairs. The Crested variety (0. cristatus) has the spike straight, and the hack of the stem is naked. The Hough Dog's-tail (0. echinatus) has a compound spike.

On meadow, pasture, walls, waste, and wood, we shall find the Fescue Grass (Festuca), with its many flowered spikelets and graceful panicles. It is distinguished from the brome grasses by the lower paleae not being awned, and from the Poas by terminating in a hard point. The glumes are acute and very unequal. On hilly pastures the Sheep's Fescue (F. ovina) and the Hard Fescue (F. duriuscula). The first is easily distinguished by its fine narrow foliage, square stem, and close panicle leaning on one side; this is also the characteristic of the second, but the panicle is larger, and spreads wider. The Creeping Fescue (F. rubra) somewhat resembles it, but it has a glaucous hue, and is hairy on the upper surface. The Small Barren Fescue (F. bromoides) frequents walls and sandy places. Its panicle is narrow and erect. The Wall Fescue (F. myurus) has a more leafy stem. The Meadow Fescue (F. pratensis) is a taller variety, with a nearly upright panicle. It is, however, surpassed in height by the Tall Fescue, which has a compound drooping panicle, with from three to six flowers in each spikelet. The Spiked Fescue (F. loliacea) has its flowers in alternate spikelets seated on the stem, and somewhat resembles rye grass. The drooping spike of the Wood Fescue (F. sylvatica) is easily recognized in woods and hedgerows. The leaves are pale and hairy, and the spikelets are placed alternately on the stem, and has long awns. The Spiked Heath Fescue (F. pinnata) has smooth foliage and shorter awns, but in other respects somewhat resembles the wood fescue.

By the hedge-side, creeping through the undergrowth, we find the graceful Brome Grasses (Bromus), often attaining a great height, and vying in grace with the elegant cyperus sedge. There are some nine or ten varieties of brome grass. The glumes are awnless, and the solid spikelets contain several florets on erect or most gracefully drooping panicles.

The Oat Grasses (Avena) are represented by the true oat, and has members of various sizes, tenants of the meadow, the corn-field, and the woodland. They are distinguished by their lax panicles, two loose membraneous glumes, and a small number of florets, each of which has one paleae armed with a strong twisted awn. It has been proved that the common oats have been derived from the Wild Oat (A. fatud), the flowers of which have been used instead of artificial flies in angling.

The Darnel family (Lolium), of which the Eye or Ray Grasses are a branch, has many flowered little spikelets seated on either side of the stem. There are but one glume and two herbaceous paleae. The two styles are very short, and the stigmas are feathery. The Bearded Darnel (Lolium temulentum) has a somewhat evil reputation. It is supposed to be the original of the plant translated "tares," which Satan sowed amongst the wheat, for the seed produces poisonous effects on the system, such as headache, vertigo, and drowsiness. It has long glumes, with the awn longer than the paleae. Its leaves are rough, and it frequently grows to the height of two feet. The Perennial Darnel or Bye Grass (L. pereaine) is well known.

There is also the Hard Grass (Rottbolia incurvata) with a tapering spike, and a stem twisted into angular elbows, which inhabits salt marshes; and the Lyme Grass (Elymus), whose spikes adorn the sandbanks, whilst its roots mat the shores into sea barriers. Ere we leave this portion of the subject, we should mention the Barley Grass (Hordeum), whose respectable bearded appearance is well known even in the Common Wall Barley {H. Murinum). The Wheat Grasses (Triticum), include the Common Couch Grass (T. repens), which is too well and unfavourably known. The creeping stems, if boiled, however, form a nutritious mass for pigs. The Fibrous-rooted Wheat Grass (T. Caninum) is similar in appearance, but has no creeping root. It is the canine medicine apparently, for dogs eat it with avidity, and it has an emetic action on them. The Reed family (Arundo) claim a notice among the grasses, though their ancient uses and importance have departed. The pandean pipes - the first musical instrument - is scarcely heard any longer; but the reeds of the clarionet and hautboy are not yet superseded. Pens are yet sometimes made from them, but their use in hurdling, for thatching or plastering, is now very limited. They have three to five flowers on each spike, the two glumes are sharp pointed and channel keeled, nearly equal. Their large panicles of glossy florets, with the paleae, are surrounded by long soft hairs, which give a woolly appearance to the clusters when in seed, which almost vie with the cotton grass, which belongs to the Sedge family. There is the Common Reed (Phragmites communis), the inhabitant of marshes; the Small Reed (Arundo cala-magrostis); and the Wood Reed (A. epigejos); both the species inhabiting woods. The Highland species (A. stricta) has only one flower on a spikelet. The Cypress Reed (A. donax) is perhaps the most useful member of the family; but it is not indigenous to this country; it gave the name of cane to all the varieties of that article. The Sea Reed (Ammophila arundi-nacea) is a most useful grass in binding up the sandbanks on the sea-shore. It is a rigid plant, with bluish rolled-up leaves.

Here we take leave of our grassy nook, and look out for "The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,".

Grassy Nooks 42