E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Agrostis capillaris L.
colonial bentgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #21210)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Agrostis capillaris
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial, densely tufted or matted grass, from rhizomes up to 5 cm long; stems 10-75 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth; blades 3-10 cm long, 1-5 mm wide, flat; ligules wider than long, 0.5-2.5 mm long.
Inflorescence broadly egg-shaped, open, 3-20 cm long, with a lack of spikelets adjacent to the main axis, the spikelets well-spaced on the branches, none or only a few of these near the base, the lower branches 1.5-4.5 cm long, broadly spreading; glumes 1.7-3 mm long; lemmas 1.3-2.5 mm long, the callus hairs absent or sparse to 0.1 mm long; rachillas absent; paleas 0.6-1.2 mm long, at least 1/2 as long as the lemmas; anthers 0.8-1.3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry lawns, fields, roadsides and meadows in the lowland zone; common on S Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Agrostis capillaris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 40 1107 2200
Slope Gradient (%) 0 16 73
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
99 168 265
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(6), ESSF(4), ICH(3), MS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Agrostis sylvatica Huds.
Agrostis tenuis Sibth.
Agrostis tenuis var. aristata (Parnell) Druce
Agrostis tenuis var. hispida (Willd.) Philipson
Agrostis tenuis var. pumila (L.) Druce
Agrostis vulgaris With.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References