It is often found in forests and grows up to half a metre tall. It is generally distributed in Britain in dry woods, thickets and shady hedge banks on well drained soils. It is an introduced species in North America.
It forms loose tufts, and is of a more delicate, slender appearance than other meadow grasses.
It is slightly creeping. The leaves are narrow, tapering to a point. The ligules are short (0.5 mm).
The stem is slender, 30–60 cm high. The panicle is slender, loose and branched.
The spikelets are few and egg shaped. They have one to five flowers. It is in flower from June to August.
- Haeupler & Muer 2007: 672
- Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
- Haeupler, Henning & Muer, Thomas (2007): Bildatlas der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen Deutschlands. Ulmer Verlag ISBN 978-3-8001-4990-2 (in German)
- The Observers Book of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes. Frances Rose. pages 46–47
- Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens. (1980) Phillips, Roger p64
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