Braventop Bent

Agrostis capillaris L.

Synonyms - Agrostis tenuis, Agrostis vulgaris, Agrostis castellana.

Family: Poaceae.

Names:

Braventop Bent

Other Names:

Bent grass
Browntop Bent - Browntop refers to the seed heads that turn brown as they mature and protrude above the green leaves.

Summary:

Erect, tufted, rhizomatous, perennial grass up to 400 mm, hairless. Spreads mainly by shallow fleshy rhizomes that form dense mats.

Description:

Cotyledons:

One.

Leaves:

Blade - Flat blue green blades up to 20-100 mm long x 1.5-5 mm wide. Parallel sided. Pointed tip. Prominent parallel veins. Hairless. Slightly rough to touch.
Ligule - Shorter and broader than they are long. Rounded, membranous. 1 mm.
Auricles - None.
Sheath - Hairless.

Stems:

150-400 mm. Hairless. Tufted. Stout. Green. Bent at nodes.

Flower head:

Panicle. Brown. 10-200 mm long. Usually erect. Egg shaped, cylindrical or pyramidal in outline. Loose when flowering with stiff spreading branches with some bearing spikelets to the base.

Flowers:

Brown. Disarticulates above the glume.
Spikelets - 2-3.5 mm long. One flowered. On stalks.
Florets -
Glumes - 2-2.5 mm long. Spear shaped. Pointed tip. Thin. Lower glume rough to touch on keel, upper glume smooth on the keel.
Palea - About half as long as the lemma. No bristle. Membranous.
Lemma - Not awned or with a very short awn from near the top. About ¾ the length of the glume. Flat tip. 3-5 nerved. Hairless or slightly rough to touch near base. Thinly membranous
Stamens -
Anthers -

Seeds:

Small (1 mm long, .3 mm wide). Elongated tear shape. Straw coloured.

Roots:

Shallow fleshy rhizomes that form dense mats.

Key Characters:

Ligules shorter and broader than they are long. Lemma glabrous. Awn minute or absent. Perennial and rhizomatous. Panicle 120-350 mm long.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. Germinates autumn/winter. Main growth in spring/summer.

Reproduction:

By seeds and rhizomes.

Flowering times:

November to February.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Rhizomes.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Habitats:

Climate:

Mediterranean.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Origin and History:

Northern hemisphere. Europe.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Significance:

Widely used as a lawn grass seed. Weed of crops and pastures.

Beneficial:

Shelter. Lawn grass.

Detrimental:

Weed of disturbed areas, roadsides, perennial crops and grasslands.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Australian Bent (Agrostis australiensis)
Blowngrass (Agrostis aemula, Agrostis avenacea)
Braventop Bent (Agrostis capillaris)
Coast Blowngrass (Agrostis billardieri)
Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera)
Graceful Bent (Agrostis venusta)
Hair Bent (Agrostis parviflora)
Mueller's Bent (Agrostis muelleriana)
Redtop Bent (Agrostis gigantea)
Velvet Bent (Agrostis canina)
Winter Bent (Agrostis hiemalis)

Plants of similar appearance:

Annual ryegrass, barley grass, brome grass, darnel, fountain grass, Guildford grass, quaking grass, sand fescue, silver grass, volunteer cereals, wild oats, toad rush and winter grass.

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). p34.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P172.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P44.

Ciba Geigy (1981) Grass Weeds 2. CIBA GEIGY Ltd, Basle, Switzerland. P10. Diagrams.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #38.6.

Paterson, J.G. (1977). Grasses in South Western Australia. (Western Australian Department of Agriculture Bulletin 4007). P19. Diagram.

Wilding, J.L. et al. (1987). Crop weeds. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). p17. Photos. Diagram.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.