Velvet Grass

Velvet_Grass_jpgThe Poaceae family is commonly called the grass family. The common name “Velvet Grass” refers to the velvety texture of the leaves and inflorescence. Velvet Grass is a weed of sterile or sandy, moist, open ground of fields, meadows, and waste places. Velvet Grass may be poisonous to livestock when not fully dry. Velvet Grass seeds are eaten by the Common Goldfinch and other small songbirds.

OtherCommonName:

Woolly Velvet grass

ScientificName:

Holcus lanatus

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from Europe

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

1 to 3 ½ feet

FruitingTime:

Late May to early July

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Georgia ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

May to June

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Single papery flower, almost transparent ~ Gray-green velvety leaves, flat, short ~ Inflorescence (flower cluster) wispy, pale green to purple grows in tufts ~ Entire plant pale green, pubescent (covered with short hairs). Consider the often quoted rhyme when identifying grasses (Poaceae family): “Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints from their tips to the ground.”