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Holcus lanatus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

dart grass

Densely tufted, native perennial grass about 1m tall, with softly-hairy, upright stems, flat grey-green leaves and purplish-red tinged single spikelets produced at the end of the stems in summer, followed by greyish-pink seed heads

Other common names
duffel grass
hose grass
see moremeadow soft grass
midge grass
rot grass
soft grass
velvet grass
Yorkshire fog
Synonyms
Avena lanata
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Clay
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver Green
Summer Red Purple Grey Silver Green
Autumn Grey Silver Green Grey Silver Pink
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered or Exposed
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Semi evergreen or Evergreen
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Holcus can be annual or rhizomatous perennial grasses, with soft, linear leaves and dense, pale green or pinkish flowering panicles in summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any poor to moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Intolerant of full sun on poor dry soil

Propagation

Propagate by seed or propagate by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Prairie planting
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Trim after flowering and deadhead to prevent self-seeding as it can be a nuisance

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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