Common Couch - Elymus repens

    Alternative names
    Couch, Twitch

    30 to 120 cm tall grass forming tufts and spreading by far creeping underground rhizomes. Leaves with sparse long hairs on the upper surface. Inflorescences slender, erect with spikelets 8 to 17 mm close set so that they overlap one another by at least half their length the lemmas are usually awnless.

    Similar Species

    It can look superficially similar to rye-grasses, 

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Inflorescence a spike with stalkless (sessile), flattened spikelets alternating up the rachis with a flat side against it


    Cultivated ground, grassland, roadsides and waste areas.

    When to see it

    June to August.

    Life History

    Perennial. It is hard to eradicate because of its deep rhizomes, any part of which if cut can re-grow.

    UK Status

    Very common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 596 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