Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Agrostis borealis Hartm.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowers: July-August
- Field Marks: This bentgrass may be distinguished by the absence of rhizomes and stolons,
the nearly smooth branches of its panicles, and its mostly bronze or purplish spikelets at
maturity that are usually 1/10-1/6 inch long.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, along streams, rocky soil.
- Habit: Tufted perennial grass without rhizomes or stolons.
- Stems: Upright, slender, smooth, up to 2 1/4 feet tall.
- Leaves: Narrow, elongated, flat or rolled into a hollow cylinder, 2-4 in number, strongly
ascending, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Flowering: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets many in an open panicle, bronze or purplish at
maturity, the panicle up to 6 inches long, the branches of the panicle smooth.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered, 1/10-1/6 inch long, the glumes narrowly ovate, the lemma with a
1/6-1/3 inch long awn.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Grains narrowly ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist call this plant A. mertensii of the Poaceae.
Return to Species List -- Group 2
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