If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

23 August, 2015

Common Bent: the brown top grass | Nature Notes from Dorset

The bent family of grasses are exceedingly common although usually only on acid soils. As a result the common bent (Agrostis capillaris) in particular is a species of heathland and the acid grassland that frequently occurs where the heathers, gorses and other typical heathland flora give way to a lawn expanse of dense bent grass. It prefers dry conditions. The florescence of common bent is usually brownish in colour and is very fine in structure making it appear quite glossy. Indeed, one of its other common names is brown top, it appears over whilst in fact it is still in full 'blossom'.
Common bent is used extensively for lawn grass and is commonly used on golf courses where, according to Wikipedia, it gives some of the best playing surfaces in the world. Obviously, in these conditions it is carefully managed and regularly cut so one never sees it at its best, an expansive sward of gently swaying flower heads. If left uncut it can grow to two feet tall but normally one would expect to see it about a foot or so high.

Read moree: Common Bent: the brown top grass | Nature Notes from Dorset