Agrostis capillaris

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeAgrostisAgrostis capillaris


A rhizomatous, occasionally stoloniferous, perennial herb occurring mainly on dry or damp, neutral to moderately acidic soils; its habitats include lowland pastures, hay meadows, upland hill-pasture, heaths, open woodland and scrub, sand dunes and a range of ruderal habitats including areas contaminated by heavy metals. It is extensively used as a lawn grass, on its own or with other species. 0-1210 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

© S. Hammonds

Broad Habitats

Acid grassland (includes non-calcareous sandy grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1104

Life form information

Height (cm): 62

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2758

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 922

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 13

Atlas Change Index: 1.28

Weighted Changed Factor: 37

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (398a)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.