Page author: Don Knoke
Holcus lanatus
common velvet grass
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Widely introduced in Canada and the United States, more common west of the Cascades in Washington.

Habitat: Roadsides, lawns, waste ground to open woods in the lower mountains.

Flowers: June - September

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial, grayish with velvety pubescence, the culms 5-10 dm. tall, sometimes becoming decumbent.


Sheaths open; ligules 1-2 mm. long, with marginal hairs; blades flat, 8-10 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a congested panicle 4-15 cm. long, grayish, purplish-tinged; spikelets 2-flowered, the lower flower perfect, the upper staminate, the rachilla prolonged as a short stub beyond the upper floret; glumes 3-4 mm. long, hairy on the nerves, the second much broader than the first, often with a very short, subapical awn; lemmas about 2 mm. long, smooth and shining, the upper with a strongly-hooked, subapical awn shorter than the glume; paleas thin, subequal to the lemmas; stamens 3.

Accepted Name:
Holcus lanatus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 1048. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Nothoholcus lanatus (L.) Nash
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Holcus lanatus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Holcus lanatus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Holcus lanatus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Holcus lanatus photos.

USDA Plants: Holcus lanatus information.

26 photographs:
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