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Holcus lanatus L.

Velvet grass, sweet velvet grass, Yorkshire fog

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderCyperalesFlowering plants including grasses
FamilyPoaceaeGrasses (but not sedges or rushes)
GenusHolcusFrom the Greek holkos, an ancient name for some kind of grain or possibly grass
SpecieslanatusCovered with long, woolly hair

About plant names...

Velvet grass is native to Europe, western Asia, and the Canary Islands, introduced to North America and now widespread or invasive in some areas.

Identification: Stems are erect, hollow, 12-39" (30-99 cm) tall. Stems may be somewhat flat at the base, generating new roots. Leaf blades are 2-8" (5-20 cm) long and ⅛-⅜" (4-12 mm) wide. The panicles (flowerheads) are compact, up to 6" (15 cm) long. Each spikelet typically has two flowers. This species reproduces by spreading and putting down new roots, or by producing prolific seeds. Seeds are ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm) long.

Online References:

Holcus lanatus on

Holcus lanatus on CalPhotos

Holcus lanatus on Wikipedia

Holcus lanatus on CalPhotos

Holcus lanatus on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Holcus lanatus on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Nothoholcus lanatus (L.) Nash


Holcus lanatus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Holcus lanatus (velvet grass, sweet velvet grass, Yorkshire fog)

5/31/2010 · Mt. Lebanon St., Pepperell, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain


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