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Pest Information

Common Velvetgrass

Common Velvetgrass

  • Latin Name: Holcus Lanatus
  • Common Name: Common Velvetgrass
  • Other Names: Velvetgrass, Yorkshire fog

Pest Details

Common Velvetgrass
Common Velvetgrass


Native to Europe and now widespread throughout the United States. Less common in the far northern states. It was introduced as a forage grass, but easily escapes cultivated areas.


A perennial grass that forms large clumps. Reproduction is from seed, but if tillering separates the clumps and root systems they easily can spread as well.


Mature plants are erect, grayish green, and up to 2.5 feet tall. The root system is fibrous. Leaves are up to 1/3 inch wide and 6 inches long, and they are covered with soft hairs, as are the stems and the sheaths at the base of the leaves. The veins on the sheath have a pinkish tint. Flower heads from from late spring through the summer, and are dense spikes of numerous spikelets. These too are softly hairy, have a grayish tint with a purple tinge to the spikelets. They dry to a light tan color and may be up to 6 inches long.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Velvetgrass grows best in low-maintenance areas of turf or crops. It can tolerate either drought situations or wet, poorly drained soils.

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