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Agrostis exarata (Spike bentgrass) | NPIN

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Agrostis exarata

Agrostis exarata Trin.

Spike bentgrass, Spiked bent, Spike red top

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Agrostis aenea, Agrostis alaskana, Agrostis ampla, Agrostis asperifolia, Agrostis exarata ssp. minor, Agrostis exarata var. minor, Agrostis exarata var. monolepis, Agrostis exarata var. pacifica, Agrostis exarata var. purpurascens, Agrostis longiligula, Agrostis longiligula var. australis, Agrostis melaleuca, Agrostis microphylla var. major

USDA Symbol: agex

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A tufted grass from 1-4 ft. tall. Culms may be slender to relatively stout and are topped with a seedhead that is usually dense and spikelike but sometimes interrupted and somewhat open. The branches are always strongly erect and green to purplish.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , KY , MT , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , VT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: AK to CA, e. to Alt., TX & Mex.; also locally to the Dakotas & NE
Native Habitat: Moist meadows; canyons

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Various moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Use Food: Seeds harvested for food by indigenous peoples.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Agrostis exarata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Agrostis exarata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Agrostis exarata


Record Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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