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Creeping bent

Scientific name: Agrostis stolonifera
As its name suggests, Creeping bent runs along the ground before it bends and grows upright. It is a common grass of arable land, waste ground and grasslands.

Species information


Height: up to 40cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Creeping bent lives up to its common name: its stems run along the ground before growing upright. Found on grasslands, damp arable fields and waste ground, it flowers between June and August. It is thought that it hybridises with Common Bent and the resultant plant has developed a tolerance to heavy metal pollutants.

How to identify

Creeping bent has 'ligules' (membranous leaf sheaths) for leaves and tightly clustered, purplish spikelets (containing the flowers). The flower spike is less branched than in other forms of bent.



Did you know?

Cultivated forms of Creeping bent are used for turf in golf courses and putting greens.

How people can help

Although they might not look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, railway cuttings and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts are involved in many projects to make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a Living Landscape: a network of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.