Scientific Name:
Agrostis capillaris L., Sp. Pl. 62 (1753)
  • = Agrostis capillaris Huds. (1762) nom. illeg., non Agrostis capillaris L. 1753
  • Agrostis tenuis Sibth. (1794) nom. nov. pro Agrostis capillaris Huds. 1762 (non Agrostis capillaris L. 1753)
Vernacular Name(s):
Bent grass; Browntop; Browntop bent

Loose to dense perennial tufts to c. 100 cm, often forming a dense turf or loose sward, spreading by very short rhizomes; branching intra- and extravaginal, the intravaginal shoots erect or sometimes decumbent or forming trailing stolons, the extravaginal shoots subterranean, bearing pale scale-leaves. Leaf-sheath glabrous, greenish to purplish. Ligule 0.6–2 mm, truncate to rounded, in non-flowering shoots shorter than wide. Leaf-blade (1.5)–2–13–(15) cm × 1–2.5–(5) mm, flat or ± involute, ± scabrid, acute. Culm erect or geniculate, often procumbent and branching then erect or ascending, sometimes remaining ± horizontal, internodes usually smooth, rarely scabrid below panicle. Panicle 2–15–(28) cm, oblong to ovate or pyramidal, usually very lax with many spreading branches; rachis smooth or sometimes scabrid above, branches and pedicels smooth or slightly scabrid. Spikelets 1.5–3.5 mm, purplish brown to greenish. Glumes subequal, lanceolate, acute; lower slightly scabrid above on midnerve, upper smooth. Lemma 1.5–2.5 mm, smooth or sparsely scabrid, ovate or elliptic, obtuse or truncate, 3-nerved with marginal nerves sometimes slightly excurrent and midnerve not usually reaching lemma tip, or rarely 5-nerved with midnerve produced to an awn arising middorsally and occasionally geniculate and projecting slightly beyond tip of lemma. Palea usually ½-⅔ length of lemma, apex usually bifid. Callus glabrous or with very short hairs. Anthers 1–1.5 mm. Caryopsis c. 1 × 0.4 mm. Plate 3B.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]

Edgar, E.; Forde, M. B. 1991: Agrostis in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 139–161.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42. [as Agrostis capillaris Huds.]
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.