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Loose Silky Bent

Apera spica-venti

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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 Bent, 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, 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:
1 metre tall
Fields, grassland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Purple, no petals
Purplish-red or green flower spikelets.
The fruit is called a caryopsis. It is a type of dry, one-seeded fruit.
An annual grass with rough, variable leaves and spreading branches. The linear leaves are up to 1cm wide. Blunt pointed ligules. The sheaths are often purplish.
Other Names:
Common Windgrass, Slender Windgrass, Spike Bentgrass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Apera spica-venti, also known as slender windgrass or spike 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. Slender windgrass is commonly found in grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. There is not much information available about the potential medicinal use of Apera spica-venti.


Loose Silky Bent (Apera spica-venti) is a grass species that is native to Europe and Asia. It is also known as Common Bent Grass, and is a staple in many grassland ecosystems. This species is well-adapted to different environments and soils and is commonly used for turf and forage production.

One of the key characteristics of Loose Silky Bent is its leaves, which are smooth and silky to the touch. This species is a type of bunchgrass, meaning that it grows in tight clumps and does not spread aggressively like some other grass species. This makes it a good choice for lawns or turf, as it does not form a dense mat that could lead to issues like soil compaction or thatch buildup.

This species is also highly drought-tolerant, which makes it an ideal choice for drier regions or for lawns that are not irrigated frequently. Loose Silky Bent has deep roots that can reach water sources that are not available to other plants, which allows it to survive during dry periods.

In addition to its use in lawns and turf, Loose Silky Bent is also a popular choice for forage production. The grass produces nutritious seeds and leaves that are palatable to livestock, making it an important feed source for grazing animals. This species is particularly important for livestock that are fed on grassland ecosystems, as it is one of the main forage species in these areas.

Overall, Loose Silky Bent is a versatile grass species that is well-adapted to a variety of environments. Whether used for turf or forage, this species is a valuable addition to any grassland ecosystem. With its deep roots, drought tolerance, and palatable leaves, Loose Silky Bent is a grass species that is sure to provide a range of benefits for years to come.

In terms of maintenance, Loose Silky Bent is relatively low-maintenance and requires little care to thrive. This species is able to tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, including both acidic and alkaline soils. It also has a low nutrient requirement, making it an ideal choice for lawns or turf that are not fertilized frequently.

However, it is important to note that this species may not be the best choice for shady areas. Loose Silky Bent prefers full sun to partial shade and may not perform as well in areas with heavy shade. Additionally, this species is not as shade-tolerant as some other grasses, so it may not be a good choice for under trees or in other areas with heavy shade.

Another factor to consider is that Loose Silky Bent is not as cold-tolerant as some other grass species. This means that it may not perform well in regions with harsh winters or prolonged periods of cold weather. However, in warmer climates, this species can be a great choice for lawns or turf.

In terms of pests and diseases, Loose Silky Bent is relatively resistant to common grass pests and diseases. However, as with any plant species, it is still important to monitor for signs of damage or disease and take appropriate action if necessary.

Overall, Loose Silky Bent is a valuable grass species that is well-adapted to a range of conditions. With its low-maintenance requirements, drought tolerance, and palatable leaves, this species is an ideal choice for lawns, turf, or forage production. Whether you're a homeowner looking to plant a lawn, or a farmer looking to improve your grazing land, Loose Silky Bent is a grass species that is sure to provide a range of benefits for years to come.

Another benefit of Loose Silky Bent is its ability to attract wildlife. This species is a source of food and shelter for many species of birds and insects, making it an important component of many ecosystems. Additionally, the seeds of Loose Silky Bent are a popular food source for small mammals and ground-nesting birds.

In terms of propagation, Loose Silky Bent can be propagated through seed, division, or vegetative cuttings. Seed propagation is the most common method of propagating this species, and it can be done by broadcasting seed over the desired area or by planting seed in rows. Division is another option, where clumps of the grass can be separated and replanted in new areas. Vegetative cuttings can also be taken from mature plants and used to propagate new plants.

In conclusion, Loose Silky Bent is a versatile and valuable grass species that is well-adapted to a range of environments. With its low-maintenance requirements, drought tolerance, and ability to attract wildlife, this species is an ideal choice for lawns, turf, or forage production. Whether you're a homeowner or a farmer, Loose Silky Bent is a grass species that is sure to provide a range of benefits for years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map