Wood Small-reed - Calamagrostis epigejos


    A stout, tall plant (60 to 200 cm), its leaves up to 10 mm wide, flat, rough, long-pointed and hairless, with long (to 12 mm), membranous, jagged tipped ligules. Panicles are dense, purplish brown, 15 to 30 cm long. Lemmas awned, with a large basal tuft of hairs longer than lemma

    Similar Species

    Calamagrostis canescens - Purple Small-reed - a rare woodland plant in VC55 - with hairy not rough leaf uppersides, shorter ligules and shorter basal hair-tuft to lemmas

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Tall plant, with conspicuous long hair tuft at base of lemma; rough upper-sides to leaves


    Damp open woodland and heath grassland - but also brownfield and waste ground 

    When to see it

    Flowers July and August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Local frequent in southern and eastern England, more scattered elsewhere and scarce in Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Very local in Leicestershire and Rutland, but may be fairly frequent in the areas where it occurs. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 56 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