Agrostis (bent or bentgrass) is a genus of over 100 species belonging to the grass family Poaceae, commonly referred to as the bent grasses. Among this group are some of the main traditional lawn grasses.
- Agrostis aequivalvi (Arctic bent)
- Agrostis avenacea (Pacific bent)
- Agrostis blasdalei (Blasdale's bent)
- Agrostis canina (Velvet bent)
- Agrostis capillaris (Common bent; browntop) (= A. tenuis)
- Agrostis castellana (Highland bent)
- Agrostis clavata (Northern bent)
- Agrostis curtisii (Bristle bent)
- Agrostis densiflora (California bent)
- Agrostis elliottiana (Elliott's bent)
- Agrostis exarata (Spike bent)
- Agrostis gigantea (Black bent; redtop)
- Agrostis goughensis
- Agrostis hallii (Hall's bent)
- Agrostis hendersonii (Henderson's bent)
- Agrostis hooveri (Hoover's bent)
- Agrostis howellii (Howell's bent)
- Agrostis hyemalis (Winter bent)
- Agrostis idahoensis (Idaho bent)
- Agrostis magellanica
- Agrostis mannii
- Agrostis media
- Agrostis mertensii (Arctic bent)
- Agrostis microphylla (Small-leaf bent)
- Agrostis oregonensis (Oregon bent)
- Agrostis pallens (Dune bent, seashore bent)
- Agrostis perennans (Upland bent)
- Agrostis scabra (Rough bent, tickle bent)
- Agrostis stolonifera (Creeping bent) (= A. palustris)
- Agrostis tandilensis (Kennedy's bent)
- Agrostis trachychlaena
- Agrostis variabilis (Mountain bent)
- Agrostis vinealis (Brown bent)
Bentgrass is used in turf applications for its numerous advantages: it can be mowed to a very short length without damage, it can handle a great amount of foot traffic, it has a shallow root system that is thick and dense allowing it to be seeded and grow rather easily, and it has a pleasing, deep green appearance. The name "bent" refers to the shallow roots, which bend just below the surface of the soil to propagate laterally.
(Agrostis stolonifera) is the most commonly used species of Agrostis. Historically, it was often called Orcheston long grass, after a village on Salisbury Plain. It is cultivated almost exclusively on golf courses, especially on putting greens. Creeping Bent aggressively produces horizontal stems, called stolons, that run along the soil's surface. These allow Creeping Bent to form dense stands under conducive conditions and outcompete bunch-type grass and broadleaf weeds. As such, if infested in a home lawn, it can become a troublesome weed problem. The leaves of the bentgrass are long and slender.
(Agrostis capillaris) was brought to America from Europe. This was the type of grass that was used on the lawns of most estates. It is the tallest of the bents with very fine texture and like most bent grasses grows very dense. Although this species has been used on golf courses and sporting fields it is better suited for lawns. Colonial Bent is fairly easy to grow from seeds and fertilization of the lawn is not as intense. This grass also takes longer to establish than Creeping Bent. However it does not require the intense maintenance.
(Agrostis canina) gets it name for the velvet appearance that this grass produces. It has the finest texture of all the bent grasses. This grass was used in Europe for estate lawns and golf courses because it could be cut so short. Velvet bent grass requires similar upkeep and maintenance to Creeping Bent. Velvet Bent has recently had a resurgence in the UK due to the high demands on greens from inclement weather and speed expectations. This species also has a lighter color than the two previous species.
Butterflies whose caterpillars feed on Agrostis include:
- Zabulon Skipper, Poanes zabulon
- Watson L, Dallwitz MJ. (2008). "The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references". The Grass Genera of the World. Retrieved 2009-08-19.