Bentgrass is a common name for grasses from the genus Agrostis. Also known as simply "Bent" or "Blown Grass", the genus is widespread, may include over 200 species and thousands of cultivars (depending upon which authority you accept). These grasses include both annuals and perennials, and some of the most widely cultivated turf grasses.
Many grow well in relatively infertile soils. Many will tolerate poorer drainage than other grass species. Most grow adequately in full sun or light shade. The hardiness of Agrostis is exploited to grow these grasses for land rehabilitation , erosion control, pastures and turf purposes, in places where more desirable grass species simply might not perform as well. Often bent can become a weed though. Improving soil fertility, drainage, aeration and other factors may help other species to compete and reduce the prominence of bent as a weed.
Mostly propagated by seed, some perennial species can be propagated by division. If left most produce and drop seed, and germinate new plants relatively easily.
Significance: Turf grasses, Pasture weeds, land conservation
Species Cultivated include:
Agrostis avenacea –Pacific Bent, to 65cm tall; fine tall wispy seed heads have made it a fire hazard in Australia and California.
Agrostis capillaries –Common Bent, Browntop –Grows well on poorer soils, prefers drier conditions; important turf species; weed in some pastures. Spreads by rhizomes. Forms tufts.
Agrostis scabra –Rough Bent –rough leaves covered with tiny hairs grows. Upright growth habit occasionally to 75cm tall. Sometimes used for land rehabilitation. Grows across a wide range of places from temperate areas into the arctic, and coastal areas to alpine valleys.
Agrostis stolonifera –Perennial Bent Grass. Widely used as a lawn or turf grass species around the world
Agrostis trachychlaena –rare species, from south Atlantic islands, threatened in the wild