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Reed canary grassReed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) Info
This perennial grass, associated with Neptune, occurs in a ring around the northern hemisphere--the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Some people have argued that it is the grass olieribos, which is called for in an invocation in a version of the Necronomicon. Considering that none of the other candidates for olieribos--nettles, marijuana, Peganum harmala, aconite, juniper, fennel--are actually grasses and none grow in swampy areas, as olieribos is said to do, Phalaris sounds like a reasonable candidate. Fond of wetlands, it is often found together with purple loosestrife and some believe it can become as pesky a weed. It has been used in areas set up to filter sewage, but it also enjoys uplands and can survive drought. It grows best on moist, sandy soil and dislikes heat (won't prosper in the Deep South). It can grow over 6 feet tall and tends to form clumps. Some varieties of phalaris make an excellent forage crop; however, in the US, seed for this plant is not developed for forage and generally comes from wholesalers specializing in wetlands reclamation. Top

How to grow: Just barely cover seeds or merely press into moist soil.  Keep moist and at 41F/5C, if possible—the cooler, the better. It naturally germinates in early spring. Like all wild grasses, the germination of this seed is irregular; not all the seed will germinate at once, as happens with cultivated plants. Transplant to sandy soil and full sun. Once it is established, it grows from creeping rhizomes, which begin developing after a month of growth.  It often grows in low-lying and marshy meadows and pastures that flood, but it is moderately drought resistance.  It does well in fertile soils and humid areas, but it does not like subtropical or tropical climates.  General growing info Top

Please do not email me to say that this book is made up. I know--I have been a Lovecraft fan since the sixties, and the first time I saw a version of the Necronomicon in a bookstore, I laughed. Later, though, I had to consider that a good practicioner can make use of any tool. If it works, use it. Top  

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© 2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission