Common Bent Grass

March 3rd, 2012

Latin:  Agrostis capillaris


This is a native species that is a common constituent of dry pastures, heaths and mountain grassland especially on dry, acid soils. It has a rather confused nomenclature.

The generic name is sometimes given as Agrostis tenuis and it is given the common name “Brown Top Bent” by some authorities. It is also known as “New Zealand” or “Colonial” bent.

It may grow in tufts or it may spread by short rhizomes or stolons and its stems can reach a height of up to 45cm. It has fine leaves (1-5mm wide) and it flowers from the end of June until August.

Like all of the bent grasses there is only one floret per spikelet and the seeds are extremely small – a single gram will usually contain 12,000 to 15,000 seeds.

It is of low agricultural value except in those places where better class grazing species (e.g. Ryegrasses) do not flourish. However, because it can form a fine, short, even turf when used alone or in conjunction with other bents of fine fescues it is used for fine lawns, putting and bowling greens.

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