Common Bent - Agrostis capillaris


    20 to 50 cm tall, tufted with creeping rhizomes but no leafy stolons. Panicle is purplish brown and always spreading, with whorled branches.

    Similar Species

    Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera) and Black Bent (Agrostis gigantea)

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    The panicle is branched. Each spikelet contains only one floret usually completely enclosed by its glumes. The inflorescence is very open with widely spaced spikelets which are not awned. The tiller ligule is shorter than wide - i.e. on the non-flowering shoot.

    Recording advice

    Look at the tiller ligules, not those on a flowering stem.  Photograph whole plant in flower and detail of tiller ligules if possible


    Drier and more acid grassland.

    When to see it

    June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Quite a common grass throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 388 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map