Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Creeping Bentgrass - Agrostis stolonifera   L.
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Agrostis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state, probably in every county.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. Greenland to AK, south to AL and CA.
AbundanceFrequent to common.
HabitatMoist to wet soils of marshes, meadows, swamp forest openings, bottomlands, roadside ditches. Sometimes in drier habitats.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-October.
IdentificationLIke A. gigantea and A. capillaris, it has a palea (a scale-like thing) at the base of the lemma. From capillaris it differs in its longer ligule on stem leaves (2-7 mm long vs. less than 3 mm long). From gigantea it differs in having surficial stolons (vs. stolons absent), not possessing rhizomes (vs. present), and having a rather compacted panicle.
Taxonomic CommentsSpecimens have also been determined as A. alba, but this name is misapplied.

Bentgrasses, genus Agrostis, in NC are usually densely cespitose (many stems and basal leaves from a central area). Most leaves are basal, rather short, and slender, often folded lengthwise or involute (rounded in cross-section). Stem leaves are few in number. The inflorescence is open and airy or wispy, with 2-several branches from well-spaced nodes; towards their ends, these branches are again branched and support the spikelets. Spikelets each contain only a single floret, with 2 glumes (outer scale-like bodies) and one lemma (inner scale-like body) and a central fruit or seed. Glumes and lemmas are sharp pointed. Lemmas may or may not have a projecting awn. In grasses, the fruit is called a caryopsis or a grain; it is composed of the seed and a tightly fitting envelope (or pericarp).
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE *
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken in roadside through prairie in northern NE, July 2020. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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