Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Common Velvet Grass
Holcus lanatus L.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: The leaves and stems of this grass are velvety-hairy. In addition, each spikelet has 2 flowers with hairy glumes and ciliate lemmas. The awn of one of the lemmas is hooked.
- Habitat: Moist meadows, ditches, other disturbed areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, hollow, up to 2 feet tall, velvety-hairy.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, 1/3-1/2 inch wide, velvety-hairy; ligules 1/8-1/6 inch long, finely hairy.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with many spikelets crowded in rather narrow panicles,
sometimes appearing spike-like, up to 6 inches long; spikelets 2-flowered, up to 1/6 inch
long; glumes hairy; lemmas ciliate, the upper one with a hooked awn.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Grains: Ovoid, smooth.
- Notes: This grass is a native of Europe. The leaves and stems are grazed by deer and
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