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What is Agrostis?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Agrostis is used to describe a genus, or group of species, of grasses found mainly in North America and Europe. Some types are often used as lawn grasses or on golf courses and sports fields. Other varieties may be considered a weed or invasive species. Often, these grasses are referred to as bentgrass, or bent, because the roots usually bend downward just underneath the soil. The shallow root system and dense foliage typically allows the plant to handle a great deal of foot traffic.

There are over 100 varieties of agrostis grass. Of these, three of them are commonly planted on golf courses and in other areas where the turf needs to have an immaculate appearance. The types used for this purpose include Velvet Bent, Creeping Bent, and Common Bent. Typically, Velvet Bent is grown on the lawns of fine estates, Creeping Bent on putting greens, and Common Bent on baseball fields.

One of the reasons that these varieties are a popular choice for these applications is because they can usually be mowed to a very short length without being killed. The thick texture of the grass typically means that people can walk on it without damaging it. It can usually also withstand traffic from small vehicles, such as golf carts, without becoming flattened.

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Other types of agrostis can sometimes be found in fields and pastures. These varieties may resemble weeds and tend to have seeded tips. In some areas, they are considered to be an invasive species because they tend to choke out other vegetation in the region. Agrostis avenacea, also known as Pacific bent grass, is one variety that is considered to be an invasive plant in California.

Most species of this grass are thick and dark green. The textures of the various types can vary from being very soft to bristle-like. Some of the weed-like varieties may have a somewhat sticky feel along the blade. These may also have lighter green tops than other grasses.

The fact that they have shallow roots generally means that plants can absorb water well. They usually do not need to be watered unless there are drought-like conditions. A sprinkler system is normally adequate for providing water to agrostis grasses.

Since agrositis is a very hardy grass, it is usually easy to grow. It typically requires very little maintenance and can tolerate a variety of conditions. Once planted, it generally returns for several years to come.

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