Scientific Name: Agrostis stolonifera

Common Name: creeping bentgrass

Other Common Names: spreading bentgrass

Synonyms: Agrostis alba var. palustris, Agrostis alba var. stolonifera, Agrostis maritima, Agrostis palustris

Habit: Plants are perennials that grow predominately in fall and spring. Plants are low growing and creep along the ground via stolons. The low growth habit makes these plants desirable for golf course putting greens and fairways. Plants become problem weeds when they invade surrounding turf such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue. These plants rarely produce seed under regular mowing but are moved to unwanted areas by disposed plugs for core aeration, wind-blown seed during establishment, contaminated sod, and wash of divot filler seed in surface runoff water.

Leaves: Leaves are light green, thin and short. Ligule is a tall pointed membrane and the collar region is void of hairs.

Identifying Characteristics: Creeping stolons, tall membranous ligule, and leaves are rolled in the bud

Flower Seed Head: The seedhead is an open panicle that may be greenish or purplish. Each spike has one flower

Seed Fruit: Seed are light brown and may be awnless or with short awns

Where Found: Thrives in moist areas along creek beds or lake shores. Tolerates close mowing down to 3 mm but may grow to over 8 inches tall with seedheads 12 inches tall in areas that are not mowed. Creeping bentgrass is the most common turfgrass species used for golf course putting greens in northern areas. Plants are lighter green than desirable Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue and may be weed problems in lawns, recreational areas, or golf course roughs.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: 1-2 mm; more than 3 mm; 2-3 mm

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm; less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round