From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Agrostis capillaris
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Supertribe: Poodae
Tribe: Poeae
Subtribe: Agrostidinae
Genus: Agrostis
Type species
Agrostis canina
  • Agraulus P.Beauv.
  • Agrestis Bubani
  • Anomalotis Steud.
  • Bromidium Nees & Meyen
  • Candollea Steud.
  • Decandolia T.Bastard
  • Didymochaeta Steud.
  • Linkagrostis Romero García, Blanca & C.Morales
  • Neoschischkinia Tzvelev
  • Notonema Raf.
  • Podagrostis (Griseb.) Scribn. & Merr.
  • Pentatherum Nábelek
  • Senisetum Honda
  • Trichodium Michx.
  • Vilfa Adans.

Agrostis (bent or bentgrass) is a large and very nearly cosmopolitan genus of plants in the grass family, found in nearly all the countries in the world.[4][5][6][7][8][9] It has been bred as a GMO creeping bent grass.[10]


Hundreds of species formerly listed in the genus Agrostis have been moved to other genera, including Achnatherum, Aira, Alloteropsis, Apera, Arundinella, Calamagrostis, Chaetopogon, Chionochloa, Chloris, Cinna, Colpodium, Crypsis, Cynodon, Deschampsia, Dichelachne, Digitaria, Eremochloa, Eriochloa, Eustachys, Gastridium, Graphephorum, Gymnopogon, Lachnagrostis, Leptochloa, Muhlenbergia, Pentameris, Phippsia, Piptatherum, Poa, Polypogon, Puccinellia, Reimarochloa, Relchela, Schismus, Sporobolus and Zingeria.[3]


Some species of bents are commonly used for lawn grass. This is a desirable grass for golf course teeing areas, fairways, and greens.

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.[citation needed]

Creeping bent[edit]

Agrostis stolonifera is the most commonly used species of Agrostis. Historically, it was often called Orcheston long grass, after a village on Salisbury Plain, England. 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.[citation needed] It can quickly take over a home lawn if it is not controlled and has very shallow roots.[12]

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and Monsanto genetically engineered creeping bent to be glyphosate-tolerant under Monsanto's Roundup Ready trademark,[13] as "one of the first wind-pollinated, perennial, and highly outcrossing transgenic crops". In 2003, Scotts planted it as part of a large (about 160 ha) field trial in central Oregon near Madras. In 2004, its pollen was found to have reached wild growing bentgrass populations up to 14 kilometres away. Cross-pollinating Agrostis gigantea was even found at a distance of 21 kilometres.[10] Scotts could not remove all genetically engineered plants and in 2007, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service fined them $500,000 for non-compliance with Plant Protection Act regulations.[14]

Common bent[edit]

Agrostis capillaris, or colonial bent, 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 densely. 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.[citation needed]

Velvet bent[edit]

Agrostis canina gets its 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.[15]

Butterfly food plant[edit]

Butterflies whose caterpillars feed on Agrostis include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ lectotype designated by Philipson, J. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 51 (1937)
  2. ^ "Agrostis". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden.
  3. ^ a b c "Agrostis". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1753). Species Plantarum. Vol. 1. pp. 61-63.
  5. ^ Watson, L.; Dallwitz, M.J. (2008). "Agrostis L." The Grass Genera of the World. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  6. ^ Lu, Sheng-lian; Phillips, Sylvia M. "Agrostis". Flora of China. Vol. 22 – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  7. ^ "Agrostis". Flora of Pakistan – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  8. ^ "Genere Agrostis". Altervista Flora Italiana. Includes photos and distribution maps of several species.
  9. ^ "Agrostis". Ausgrass, Grasses of Australia.
  10. ^ a b Watrud, L.S.; Lee, E.H.; Fairbrother, A.; Burdick, C.; Reichman, J.R.; Bollman, M.; Storm, M.; King; G.J.; Van de Water, P.K. (2004). "Evidence for landscape-level, pollen-mediated gene flow from genetically modified creeping bentgrass with CP4 EPSPS as a marker". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101 (4): 14533–14538. doi:10.1073/pnas.0405154101. PMC 521937. PMID 15448206.
  11. ^ Otting, Nick; Wilson, Barbara L. (2023-07-21). "Agrostis swalalahos (Poaceae), a grass endemic to the mountains of northwest Oregon, U.S.A." Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 17 (1): 9–19. doi:10.17348/jbrit.v17.i1.1287. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  12. ^ Johnson, Tim (7 June 2016). "Bentgrass will take over unless you act. Here's what to do". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Future Product: Roundup Ready® Creeping Bentgrass". Scotts Seed Solutions. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-02-17. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  14. ^ "USDA Concludes Genetically Engineered Creeping Bentgrass Investigation". USDA. 27 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  15. ^ Espevig, Tatsiana; Kvalbein, Agnar; Aamlid, Trygve S.; Tronsmo, Arne (2011). Potential for velvet bentgrass on Nordic golf greens (PDF) (Report). Scandinavian Turfgrass and Environment Research Foundation. p. 4. Retrieved 2021-04-19.

External links[edit]