Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Redtop (Agrostis alba)
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: Species of Agrostis are distinguished by their 1-flowered spikelets borne on thread-like branches. This species is further distinguished by its leaves at least 1/8 inch broad and its slender rhizomes.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, wet prairies, along streams, roadside ditches.
- Habit: Perennial grass with extensive slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect or spreading, usually unbranched, smooth, up to 2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, rough to the touch, 1/8 to 1/4 inch broad.
- Flowers: Borne in 1-flowered spikelets, with many spikelets on thread-like branches in panicles up to 10 inches long; each spikelet up to 1/2 inch long, green or purplish.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Ellipsoid, reddish, about 1/20 inch long.
- Notes: The dense network of rhizomes enables this species to be a good soil binder.
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