Heirloom & Perennial Ltd

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Phleum pratense subsp. bertolonii, Timothy Grass (shorter subspecies)


A short-lived perennial. An attractive addition to the wild flower meadow, the inflorescence dries and dyes well so is used in dried flower displays.

The caterpillars of some Lepidoptera use it as a food plant.

The plant can yield up to 15 tonnes of plant material per hectare and is a potential source of biomass.

The stems have been used to make hair brushes.

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary soil. The plant is not drought tolerant. Timothy grass is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 35 to 176cm, an annual temperature range of 4.4 to 18.6°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 7.8. The plant is best adapted to a cool, humid, temperate climate, growing best on rather heavy, deep and moist or even wet soils. Yields are lower on light dry soils and sands.

Sow spring in situ, only just covering the seed. If seed is in short supply, it can be surface sown in a pot in a cold frame. Ensure the pot does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant out in the summer.


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