Agrostis capillaris L.
colonial bentgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #21210)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Agrostis capillaris
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
1107 40 2200
Slope Gradient (%)
16 0 73

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

168 99 265
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.