Highland Bent

A perennial herb of roadsides, amenity grassland, temporary leys and cultivated land. It is often sown in grass-seed mixtures, and is also introduced with wool shoddy and in wild-flower mixtures. Lowland.

Bristle Bent

A tufted perennial herb of the drier parts of impoverished, sandy and peaty heaths, especially those with impeded drainage, occasionally extending to more consistently waterlogged ground. In closed communities, it occurs as scattered plants, but it can seed prolifically into burnt or disturbed ground and rapidly form an almost continuous cover. It also occurs in open acidic woodland over gravel and sand. Generally lowland, but reaching 610 m on Dartmoor (S. Devon).

Black Bent

A sprawling, perennial herb, behaving as a rampant weed in cornfields and neglected arable land, particularly on lighter soils, where it spreads by seed and by rhizomes. In wetter habitats, where it is much rarer, it can persist in taller, closed vegetation by rhizomatous growth. Lowland.

Small Bent

A tufted perennial herb, which is often annual in our area, occurring on rough ground and waste places in dockyards, and by roads and railways. It is introduced with wool shoddy and as a grain contaminant. Lowland.

African Bent

A tufted perennial herb, which is usually annual in our area, occurring on rough ground and waste places. It is introduced with wool shoddy. Lowland.

Rough Bent

A tufted perennial herb, which is often annual in our area, occurring on rough ground, rubbish tips, waste places, and by roads and railways. Many populations are naturalised, but some are only casual. It arises from wool shoddy and grain. Lowland.

Creeping Bent

A stoloniferous perennial herb, found in many habitats on heavy and light, moist and dry soils. It occurs in permanent grassland (including inundation and brackish communities), in upper saltmarsh and dune-slacks, on sand dunes and sandy flats, on cliffs and in mires, springs, flushes and ditches. It also grows on spoil heaps and a wide range of open and disturbed habitats, and is a weed in arable sites. 0-945 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).

Brown Bent

A shortly rhizomatous perennial herb, mainly of dry or free-draining, acidic, sandy or peaty soils on heaths, in acidic grass-heath, in open woodland (especially Betula, Pinus and Quercus), in woodland clearings and on rides. On some lowland heaths A. vinealis may grow in damp situations, but unlike A. canina it avoids waterlogged soils. It is a drought-resistant lawn grass. 0-845 m (Little Dun Fell, Westmorland), and probably higher in Scotland.


A large tree planted in streets and parks in urban areas, but rarely found elsewhere. It is extremely tolerant of atmospheric pollution. It grows rapidly, and spreads by suckering, but rarely sets seed in Britain. Lowland.

Silver Hair-grass

An annual of well-drained sandy and rocky places, cliff-tops, heaths, summer-parched grasslands, anthills and stabilised sand dunes; also on stone walls and railway ballast. Rarely, it is recorded as a wool casual. 0-560 m (Mourne Moutains, Co. Down).