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

Agrostis pallens Trin.
dune bentgrass (seashore bentgrass; thingrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10221)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Agrostis pallens
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from rhizomes to about 10 cm long, rhizomes sometimes absent, not forming a turf and including many non-flowering shoots; stems 10-70 cm tall, scattered.
Sheaths smooth; blades 1.5-5 cm long, 1-6 mm wide, flat, becoming in-rolled; ligules 1.5-6 mm long, rough-hairy outside.
Inflorescence lanceolate to narrowly constricted, at least twice as long as wide, the branches ascending, 2-5 cm long; spikelets numerous; glumes 2-3 mm long; lemmas 1.5-2.5 mm long, awnless or rarely with straight awns to 0.5 mm long, from below the tips, calluses with sparse hairs to 0.25 mm long; paleas absent or if present, thin membranes to 0.2 mm long; anthers 1-1.7 mm long.
This is a rare species or group of species formerly thought to be confined to sand dunes but now known to occur inland in habitats subject to extreme summer drought.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Dry sand dunes, meadows, rock outcrops and rocky slopes in the lowland zone; rare on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; S to MT, ID, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Agrostis pallens

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) 130 218 324
Slope Gradient (%) 0 29 84
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 180 180
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(3)


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 diegoensis Vasey
Agrostis lepida Hitchc.
Agrostis pallens var. vaseyi H. St. John

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References