Wire Schmiele

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Wire Schmiele
Wire Schmiele (Deschampsia flexuosa), illustration

Wire Schmiele ( Deschampsia flexuosa ), illustration

Order : Sweet grass (Poales)
Family : Sweet grasses (Poaceae)
Subfamily : Pooideae
Genre : Schmielen ( Deschampsia )
Type : Wire Schmiele
Scientific name
Deschampsia flexuosa
( L. ) Trin.

The wire Schmiele ( Deschampsia flexuosa ), also known as the serpentine Schmiele , is a type of grass from the genus of the Schmielen ( Deschampsia ) in the sweet grass family (Poaceae). It marks acidic and poor locations and is often used for decorative purposes in floristry and horticulture due to its attractive panicles, like other Schmielen.


Wire Schmiele in Schwetzingen Hardt

The wire Schmiele is a perennial plant that grows in loose to dense clumps . It is rooted up to 1 meter deep and reaches heights between 30 and 50, sometimes up to 70 and more centimeters. The smooth stalks grow upright or curved from the base. They are very tight and thin and wear one to three knots . The leaf sheaths are round on the back and slightly rough above. The ligule are blunt and measure up to 3 millimeters in length, but are mostly much shorter. The bald, finely bristled and rolled-up leaf blades feel oily and smooth. They become about eight inches long.

The inflorescences are very loose and open panicles . These are up to 15 inches long and about 10 inches wide. The main axes are winding, rough and very thin. They have two twisted branches at each knot. The 2 to 6 millimeters long spikelets are usually two-flowered. The mostly four-toothed lemmas carry a 4 to 7 millimeter long kneeling awn, which clearly towers above the spikelet. The flowering period extends from June to July. The fruit ripens between August and October.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 14, 26 or 28.


The wire Schmiele is a perennial hemicryptophyte and a clump plant. In sunny locations it is red and deep-rooted. Its roots are over a meter deep.

The flowers are wind pollinated and self-sterile . The species blooms noticeably more in open places than in shady ones.

The fruits are caryopses, which are loosely surrounded by lemmas and spread as balloon and wing fliers by the wind; In addition, animals spread as Velcro hooks and water-like ones, and water spreads as rainworms. The fruits are light germs .

Vegetative reproduction occurs through short, underground runners .


The wire Schmiele is used worldwide. It is native to all of Europe as far as Asia and North Africa as well as South and North America. It grows on nutrient-poor and lime-poor, acidic soils in dwarf shrub heaths and grass lawns , tall herbaceous vegetation and shrubbery in the mountains, as well as in deciduous and coniferous forests. As a semi-shade to light plant, it only blooms optimally in locations with more light such as wooded areas. It occurs in societies of the classes Vaccinio-Piceetea and Nardo-Callunetea, but also in the associations Quercion roboris, Epilobion angustifolii or the sub-association Luzulo-Fagenion. In the Allgäu Alps it rises in Vorarlberg on Pellingers Köpfle and in the Tyrolean part in the Kelletal on the Großer Krottenkopf up to 2000 meters above sea level.

Taxonomy and systematics

Deschampsia flexuosa was 1753 by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum under the Basionym Aira flexuosa L. first published . It is usually placed in its own genus as Avenella flexuosa (L.) Drejer .

One can distinguish several subspecies:

  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. afromontana (CEHubb.) Veldkamp : It occurs from Ethiopia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. corsica (exchange) Holub : It comes from the subarctic zones and subalpine areas of the northern hemisphere to the Caucasus.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. flexuosa : It occurs from Europe to Japan, from Greenland to the United States, from southern South America to the Falkland Islands and in northwest Africa.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. foliosa (Hack.) Veldkamp : It occurs in the Azores.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. iberica (Rivas Mart.) Valdés & H.Scholz : It occurs from southern France to northern Spain.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. ligulata (Stapf) Veldkamp : It occurs in the Philippines and Borneo.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. maderensis (Hack. & Bornm.) Veldkamp : It occurs in Madeira.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. mairei (Sennen) F.Albers ex Veldkamp : It occurs in southern Spain and Morocco.
  • Avenella flexuosa subsp. stricta (Willk. & Lange) Veldkamp : It occurs in western Portugal and northwestern Spain.

Common names

As further German-language trivial names , the terms bush grass, wire smelting ( Silesia ), silver bucksbeard, forest grass and Weddegras are or were used, sometimes only regionally .



  • Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora . With the collaboration of Theo Müller. 7th, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1994, ISBN 3-8252-1828-7 .
  • Henning Haeupler, Thomas Muer: picture atlas of the fern and flowering plants of Germany . Published by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (=  The fern and flowering plants of Germany . Volume 2 ). 2nd corrected and enlarged edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2007, ISBN 978-3-8001-4990-2 .
  • Charles Edward Hubbard: Grasses. Description, distribution, use (=  UTB . Volume 233 ). 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1985, ISBN 3-8001-2537-4 (English: Grasses . Translated by Peter Boeker).
  • M. Skytte Christiansen & V. Hancke: grasses. Over 180 sweet grasses, sour grasses and rushes, middle and Northern Europe. BLV, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-405-11870-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Ruprecht Düll , Herfried Kutzelnigg : Pocket dictionary of plants in Germany and neighboring countries. The most common Central European species in portrait . 7th, corrected and enlarged edition. Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2011, ISBN 978-3-494-01424-1 , p. 277-278 .
  2. a b c Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . 8th edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 . Pages 242–243.
  3. Erhard Dörr, Wolfgang Lippert : Flora of the Allgäu and its surroundings. Volume 1, IHW, Eching 2001, ISBN 3-930167-50-6 , p. 166.
  4. Carl von Linné: Species Plantarum. Volume 1, Lars Salvius, Stockholm 1753, p. 65 ( digitized versionhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.biodiversitylibrary.org%2Fopenurl%3Fpid%3Dtitle%3A669%26volume%3D1%26issue%3D%26spage%3D65%26date%3D1753~GB%3D~ IA% 3D ~ MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D ).
  5. a b c d e f g h i Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Avenella flexuosa. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ Georg August Pritzel , Carl Jessen : The German folk names of plants. New contribution to the German linguistic treasure. Philipp Cohen, Hannover 1882, p. 53 (online).

Web links

Commons : Draht-Schmiele  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files