Dactylis glomerata L.
orchard-grass (orchard grass; orchardgrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #13410)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Dactylis glomerata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, strongly tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, erect, up to 150 cm tall.
Sheaths closed, more or less compressed, smooth to slightly rough; blades (2) 3-11 mm wide, flat, mostly somewhat rough, usually the 2 margins freed from the sheaths at different levels; ligules mostly 3-9 mm long, membranous, generally sparsely hairy, blunt to pointed, the margins finely jagged, fringed with small hairs, the upper halves usually turned back and split in several places.
Inflorescence a panicle 3-15 cm long, the branches stiffly ascending to spreading or even reflexed (the lower ones); spikelets strongly to one side in dense clusters, compressed, 3- to 5-flowered, 5-9 mm long, nearly unstalked, articulating above the glumes; glumes 4-6 mm long, keeled, the keels fringed with stiff hairs, usually 2 (3)-nerved, the tips short, soft and awnlike, the lower glumes lopsided, the upper narrower and usually 1-nerved; lemmas 5-8 mm long, keeled, the keels fringed with hairs above, awned, the awns about 1 mm long; paleas nearly equal to the lemmas, long-pointed, nerved, the nerves fringed with short hairs; lodicules short, membranous, scarcely 0.5 mm long; anthers about 4 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 Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Dactylis glomerata

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)
915 2 2006
Slope Gradient (%)
14 0 84

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

164 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(2), CDF(10), CWH(15), ESSF(10), ICH(15), IDF(85), MS(37), PP(13), SBPS(2), SBS(6), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Mesic meadows, Garry oak woodlands, pastures, roadsides and disturbed sites in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC, less frequent in N BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia