Creeping Bent - Agrostis stolonifera


Normally about 40 cm tall, but can be taller on rich soils. It has long creeping leafy runners that root at their joints, but no underground rhizomes. Panicles are pale whitish to purplish and rather closed up except when in flower.

Similar Species

Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

The panicle is branched. Each spikelet contains only one floret usually completely enclosed by its glumes. The inflorescence branches close together after flowering, and have closely spaced spikelets which are not awned. The tiller ligule is longer than wide and pointed (i.e. on the non-flowering shoot).

Recording advice

Look at the tiller ligule, not the flowering shoot.  Photograph of the whole plant, and detail of tiller ligule if possible


Grassland of all kinds.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 407 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map