Mat-grass - Nardus stricta


    This is a densely tufted, wiry plant with one-sided flower-spikes that are purplish when fresh. The leaves are hard and bristle-like forming a basal rosette. The grass rustles when moved and often grows to leave a bald patch in the centre of the tussock.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    Thrives in poor soil and overgrazed areas. Often found on moorland and high ground and on heath grassland.

    When to see it

    Flowers June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread and frequent in most upland areas of Britain, more local elsewhere.

    VC55 Status

    Local in Leicestershire and Rutland and mainly confined to the Charnwood Forest area. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 28 of the 617 tetrads.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map