Deschampsia cespitosa

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Deschampsia cespitosa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Deschampsia
D. cespitosa
Binomial name
Deschampsia cespitosa

Deschampsia caespitosa

Deschampsia cespitosa, commonly known as tufted hairgrass or tussock grass,[1] is a perennial tufted plant in the grass family Poaceae.[2] Distribution of this species is widespread including the eastern and western coasts of North America, parts of South America, Eurasia and Australia.

The species is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and numerous cultivars are available. The cultivars 'Goldschleier' and 'Goldtau' [3] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4][5]

It is a larval host to the Juba skipper and the umber skipper.[6]


A distinguishing feature is the upper surface of the leaf blade which feels rough and can cut in one direction, but is smooth in the opposite direction. The dark green upper sides of the leaves are deeply grooved.

It can grow to 4.5 ft (1.4 m) tall, and has a long, narrow, pointed ligule.[7] It flowers from June until August.

It can be found on all types of grassland, although it prefers poorly drained soil. It forms a major component of the British NVC community MG9 - Holcus lanatus to Deschampsia cespitosa mesotrophic grasslands. It can exist up to altitudes of 4000 ft.[8] Typical native grass associates in the western North American coastal prairies, such as the California coastal prairie, are Festuca californica, Festuca idahoensis, Danthonia californica, and Nassella pulchra.


  • Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa (synonyms: Deschampsia bottnica (Wahlenb.) Trin.; Deschampsia littoralis (Gaudin) Reut.)[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) P.Beauv. record n° 50145". African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  2. ^ Jepson Manual. 1993
  3. ^ "Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau'". RHS. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  4. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldschleier'". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 16. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.
  7. ^ Identification ResourcesBSBI Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine Identification Resources website
  8. ^ Grasses by C E Hubbard, 1978, published by Penguin books
  9. ^ "Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 1 February 2021.

External links[edit]