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Black Bent

Agrostis gigantea

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Red, no petals
Light, shiny, reddish-purple spikelets. The spikelets are one-flowered. Later the flowers turn a drab grey colour. No awns.
The fruit is a caryopsis.
A perennial, mat-forming grass, much taller than Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris) and with broader leaves. The leaves reach 6mm wide. The toothed ligule is blunt, up to 6mm long.
Other Names:
Giant Bentgrass, Redtop, Redtop Bent Grass, Water Bentgrass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Agrostis gigantea, also known as redtop or giant bentgrass, is a species of grass in the family Poaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world as a forage crop. The grass has upright stems with small, green leaves and produces small, inconspicuous flowers. Redtop is commonly used as a forage grass and its seeds are used as birdseed. There is not much information available about the potential medicinal use of Agrostis gigantea.


Black Bent, also known as Agrostis gigantea, is a species of grass commonly found in the temperate regions of the world. It is a robust, hardy and drought tolerant grass that is highly valued for its use as a forage grass, erosion control and turfgrass.

Black Bent is characterized by its distinctive dark green leaves, which are broad and have a rough texture. The leaves grow to a length of 20-30 cm and are often slightly curved. The stems of the plant are usually 30-100 cm tall and are thick and fibrous.

One of the key benefits of Black Bent is its versatility. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a pasture grass, forage grass, turfgrass and erosion control. As a pasture grass, it is highly nutritious and palatable, providing a good source of protein, fiber, and energy for livestock.

Another benefit of Black Bent is its tolerance to drought and other environmental stressors. This makes it an ideal grass for use in areas with limited water resources or harsh growing conditions. Black Bent is also highly resistant to disease and pests, making it a low-maintenance grass for farmers and gardeners alike.

In addition to its practical uses, Black Bent is also highly valued for its aesthetic appeal. It has a lush, green appearance that adds to the beauty of any landscape or garden. Its deep roots and sturdy stems make it a great choice for erosion control and landscaping projects.

Black Bent is also highly adaptable to different soils and climates, making it a popular choice for farmers and gardeners around the world. It is commonly found in Europe, Asia, and North America, but can be grown in many other regions as well.

Black Bent is an excellent choice for golf courses, parks, and sports fields due to its ability to provide a dense, uniform turf. Its deep roots and ability to withstand heavy traffic make it an ideal choice for these types of applications.

In addition to its practical uses, Black Bent is also highly valued by wildlife and ecosystem. Its dense canopy provides habitat and shelter for birds, insects, and other small animals. This can help to improve the overall health and diversity of local ecosystems, making it an important species for conservation efforts.

Overall, Black Bent is a highly valued species of grass that offers numerous benefits to farmers, gardeners, landscapers, and the environment. Whether you are looking for a forage grass, turfgrass, or erosion control, Black Bent is a great choice for your next project.

It's important to note that Black Bent is a highly competitive species and can quickly outcompete other plants in a mixed sward or lawn. This can result in a monoculture of Black Bent, reducing the overall biodiversity of an area. Therefore, it is crucial to manage and control its spread, especially in conservation areas.

Another factor to consider is its nitrogen requirement. Black Bent is a heavy feeder and requires a good supply of nitrogen to perform well. In the absence of sufficient nitrogen, it may become stunted and produce lower yields. Therefore, farmers and gardeners should ensure that their soil has an adequate nitrogen level before planting Black Bent.

In terms of maintenance, Black Bent requires regular mowing to keep its attractive appearance. This helps to maintain its dense growth and prevent it from becoming too tall. Mowing frequency depends on the intended use, but once a month is usually sufficient.

In conclusion, while Black Bent offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider the potential negative impacts and manage its growth appropriately. Proper soil management, mowing, and control measures can help to ensure that Black Bent is a valuable and sustainable addition to any agricultural or landscaping project.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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