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The Desert and the River

THE ENVOY OF COLD STEPPES

Feather grass (Stipa) is typical for steppes. Extensive stipa grasslands spread from Ukraine all the way to Central Asia. In Central Europe they are limited to islands, the remains and reminders of the type of vegetation which was abundant here at the end of the last ice age.

Feather grass usually grows in sunny and very dry places, where other plants would struggle to survive. It is adjusted to unfavourable conditions with little moisture – its root system spreads wide and deep, making use of whatever little water there is, and the long, narrow, and slightly curly leaves slow down evaporation, thus preventing the plant from losing water too fast.

Feather grass fruit (caryopsis or “grain”) is also interesting. It has a long, hairy awn, which helps it spread by wind. Thanks to a very clever way of sucking in water, the awn can turn without help and by doing this it “drills” the grain deep into the soil.

In the Czech Republic several species of feather grass can be found, all of which are rare and they are listed among protected plants. The Stipa borysthenica is no exception and the Drift Sand (Vate Pisky) National Nature Monument between Moravsky Pisek and Rohatec is the only site with this species in the country.

GPS position

N 48° 55.745', E 17° 16.431'
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[MAPY.CZ]

Contact

Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
Tel.:518 322 545
e-mail:visbk@bilekarpaty.cz
http://www.bilekarpaty.cz