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Agrostis scabra (Rough bentgrass)
Anderson, Wynn

Agrostis scabra

Agrostis scabra Willd.

Rough Bentgrass, Rough Bent, Ticklegrass, Fly-away Grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Agrostis geminata, Agrostis hyemalis var. geminata, Agrostis hyemalis var. scabra, Agrostis hyemalis var. tenuis, Agrostis scabra ssp. septentrionalis, Agrostis scabra var. geminata, Agrostis scabra var. septentrionalis

USDA Symbol: AGSC5

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

Rough bent or ticklegrass is a perennial clump grass, 3 1/2 ft. tall, with long, delicate branches that branch again toward the top. The inflorescence is wide and occupies most of the height of the plant. At first, the inflorescence is purple-green and shining, then tan. It often breaks off and floats around like a tumbleweed.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3-1/2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , NU , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Nf. to AK, s. to FL, LA, NM & CA
Native Habitat: Moist meadows; streamsides; open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Mucky to moist, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: When A. hiemalis is separated from A. scabra, its range is from the eastern U.S. to WI, KS & TX. Without A. hiemalis, the range of A. scabra does not include the extreme s.e. U.S.


Attracts: Birds
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-11-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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