Deschampsia flexuosa

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeDeschampsiaDeschampsia flexuosa


A loosely to densely tufted, clump or carpet-forming perennial of acid heaths, moorland, hill-pasture and open woodland, usually of Betula or Quercus. It grows on a wide range of freely-draining base-poor substrates, including leached soils over basic rocks. It can survive in sheep-grazed woodland. 0-1220 m (Ben Macdui, Banffs.).



World Distribution

European Boreo-temperate element; also in E. Asia and N. America.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1177

Life form information

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2298

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 440

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 3

Atlas Change Index: -0.22

Weighted Changed Factor: -8

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 (395b)
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.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Scurfield G
1954.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 39. Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin. Journal of Ecology. 42:225-233.