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Brown Bent

Agrostis vinealis

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.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

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 Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle 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:
60 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, meadows, moorland, roadsides, woodland.

Purple, no petals
Reddish-purple flowers. Solitary, elliptical spikelets, up to 3.5mm long. Similar to Velvet Bent (Agrostis canina) but the flowers of Brown Bent are more densely packed.
The fruits of grasses are called caryopses. They are a kind of one-seeded, dry fruit.
A perennial grass species. Linear, flat leaf blades, up to 3mm wide. Blunt ligules. The similar looking Velvet Bent has sharper ligules.
Other Names:
Brown Bentgrass, Slender Bentgrass, Small Bentgrass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Agrostis vinealis, also known as small bentgrass or slender 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. The grass has slender stems with small, green leaves and produces small, inconspicuous flowers. Small bentgrass is commonly found in grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. There is not much information available about the potential medicinal use of Agrostis vinealis.


Brown Bent (Agrostis vinealis) is a type of grass species that is widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia. It is a cool-season grass that is well adapted to temperate climates and is commonly found in meadows, pastures, and areas that receive moderate amounts of rainfall.

One of the main characteristics of Brown Bent is its distinctive appearance. It has narrow, flattened leaves that are usually green or blue-green in color, and it forms dense clumps that grow up to 30 cm tall. The stems of the plant are stiff and upright, and the plant produces seed heads that are pale brown in color, which gives it its common name.

Brown Bent is known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of soil types and growing conditions, making it a popular choice for turf grass, as well as forage for livestock. It is highly resistant to grazing pressure and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for lawns, parks, and other recreational areas.

Despite its many advantages, Brown Bent can be a challenging plant to manage. It is a prolific seed producer and can easily become invasive if not kept in check. It is also susceptible to disease and insect damage, particularly if grown in areas with poor air circulation.

Brown Bent is also commonly used for soil erosion control and for reforestation projects, as it is able to establish quickly and provide a protective cover for newly-planted trees. In addition, its deep root system helps to improve soil structure and increase nutrient availability in the soil, making it an important component of sustainable agricultural systems.

The plant's leaves contain high levels of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. As a result, it is being researched as a potential ingredient in food and medicinal products.

Despite its many benefits, Brown Bent has been classified as an invasive species in some areas, particularly in the United States and Australia, where it has displaced native vegetation and impacted biodiversity. This highlights the importance of careful management and monitoring to prevent it from becoming a problem in these areas.

Brown Bent is also a popular choice for golf courses, as it provides a dense and resilient surface for greens, tees, and fairways. In addition, it is widely used for landscaping and for restoring degraded habitats, such as wetlands and meadows.

In addition to its practical applications, Brown Bent is also an important food source for wildlife, including rabbits, hares, and various species of birds. Its seed heads are a favored food source for many bird species, and its leaves and stems provide shelter and nesting sites for a range of animals.

One of the main challenges in growing Brown Bent is to ensure it remains healthy and disease-free. To achieve this, it is important to provide adequate nutrition and to follow good cultural practices, such as mowing at the right height, avoiding over-fertilization, and providing good air circulation.

In conclusion, Brown Bent (Agrostis vinealis) is a valuable and versatile grass species that has a wide range of uses and benefits, from turf grass and forage to soil erosion control and habitat restoration. While it is important to be aware of its invasive potential and to manage it carefully, it remains an important species for many different industries and applications.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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