Holcus lanatus L.
common velvet-grass (common velvetgrass; Yorkshire fog)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #13804)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Holcus lanatus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems erect (sometimes becoming decumbent and creeping in lawns), hollow, hairy above and below the nodes, (20) 50-100 cm tall.
Sheaths open, velvety-hairy, greyish; blades 3-10 mm wide and up to 25 cm long, flat, velvety-hairy, greyish; ligules strongly hairy, eroded-jagged and more or less fringed with fine hairs, blunt to sharp-pointed, 1-2 mm long.
Inflorescence a greyish, purplish-tinged panicle, 4-15 cm long; spikelets 2-flowered, the upper floret male, tawny, short-stalked, 5-6 mm long; glumes 3-4 mm long, more or less stiff long-hairy, especially on the nerves, the upper ones much wider than the lower ones, often with very short awns almost at the tips; lemmas about 2 mm long, smooth or slightly short-hairy above, shiny, the lower ones unawned, the upper ones awned, the awns hooked, shorter than the glumes; rachillas sparsely stiff-hairy or sometimes smooth, anthers about 1.5 mm long; lodicules broadly lanceolate, nearly entire, up to 0.5 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:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Yellow
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Holcus lanatus

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)
161 0 1620
Slope Gradient (%)
14 0 120

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

137 45 315
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 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

CDF(24), CWH(48), IDF(1)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry lawns, fields, roadsides, railways and waste areas; common in coastal BC, rare elsewhere in BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Nothoholcus lanatus (L.) Nash