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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Agrostis gigantea Roth)


GRASS FAMILY (Gramineae or Poaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: Perennial from rhizomes, sod-forming, not stoloniferous. Culms (stems) can be straight or curved at the very base; otherwise, plants are erect and straight to 10-15 dm. in height. Larger leaf blades mostly 3-7 (10) mm. wide. Larger ligules 2.5-6 mm. long. Panicles 10-20 cm. long with widely spreading, unequal branches. Panicles usually tinged with purple-red, although plants growing in shade may be more greenish. Spikelets are one-flowered, 2-3.5 mm. long.


ECOLOGICAL NOTES: A common grass that occurs in a wide variety of moist to saturated soils of inland fresh meadows, pastures, abandoned agricultural lands, vacant urban lands and wetland mitigation sites. It is often encountered in the wetland/upland transition zone. A native of Europe, redtop has become so well established in our flora as to appear indigenous. A synonym is A. stolonifera var. major (Gaudin) Farw. Another former name A. alba L., was misapplied.

SOURCE: Voss (1972); Gleason and Cronquist (1991).

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