Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Agrostis stolonifera L.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: Most species of Agrostis have thread-like branches that bear the 1-flowered
spikelets. This one has leaves 1/4-1/2 inch wide and has slender underground rhizomes.
- Habitat: Fields, wet areas, moist meadows, damp thickets.
- Habit: Perennial grass with slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Spreading, smooth, up to more than 3 feet long.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat or sometimes inrolled along the edges, 1/4-1/2 inch wide, smooth;
ligules membranous, minutely jagged along the edge.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets in a panicle on thread-like branches, purplish to straw-colored,
the 1-flowered spikelets 1/12-1/6 inch long; glumes pointed at the tip; lemmas pointed, about as
long as the glumes, awnless.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Oblongoid, smooth.
- Notes: This species is variable in that the inflorescence may be purple or straw-colored. The
name Agrostis stolonifera includes species formerly known as Agrostis gigantea, A. alba,
and A. palustris. Gleason and Cronquist call this family Poaceae. This species is used for
sod, for golf greens, and as a conservation plant for moist sites.
Previous Species -- Rough Bentgrass (Agrostis scabra)
Return to Species List -- Group 2
Next Species -- Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus geniculatus)