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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Agrostis stolonifera - creeping bentgrass

Synonyms: Agrostis alba var. palustris, A. alba var. stolonoifera, A. maritima, A. palustris (see USDA for more)

Other Common Names: creeping bent, fiorin, spreading bent, carpet bentgrass or redtop

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Cool and Warm
Habitat Description: Grows in areas that are periodically flooded such as lakesides, marshes, fields, meadows, forest openings, and stream banks. Also found in disturbed sites such as ditches, clearcuts, and overgrazed pastures. Used commercially as turfgrass.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 4000 - 10000 feet

Similar Species: Agrostis capillaris, common bent

General Description

Desc: Perennial bunchgrass with prostrate stems. Stoloniferous, rooting at the nodes and often forming a dense mat without rhizomes. Seedheads are erect and green changing to reddish in color with maturity.
Identification notes: Stoloniferous perennial. Seedhead branches are 3/4 to 2-1/2 inches long, spikelet bearing to their base. Distinguished from A. capillaris which has a short ligule that does not come to a point and flowers only in distal half of branches.
Grass Type: Perennial mat or sod-forming  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: Y
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Sep

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Spikelets are red and tightly closed within the seedhead structure. Lower seedhead branches are whorled. Spikelets are laterally compressed, and have one fertile floret. Flowers are bisexual, 1 spike per stem, up to 16 inches tall.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Involute  
Blade Notes: Leaves mostly basal and clasping. Leaf sheath mostly open or loose. Leaf blades linear and very narrow. Leaf blades are folded or rolled inward at edges. Leaves often have a bluish-gray color.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Ligule is present as an unfringed smooth membrane. Ligules are longer than wide and pointed. Grass is usually unawned but rarely has a tiny subapical straight awn.

Forage Value: Creeping bentgrass is rated good in nutritional value for elk and mule deer, poor for pronghorn, and fair for white-tailed deer, small mammals,small nongame birds, upland game birds, and waterfowl. Energy rating is fair and protein content is poor.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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