is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, with particular concentration in southwestern Europe; however, the species is presently a widespread alien species in North America, South America and Australia. Typical habitats are dry mountain grassland, coastal prairies and other open ecosystems. The species prefers sandy soils, has an affinity for waste spaces.
Silver hairgrass is an annual species that does not exceed one meter in height. The common name derives from the silvery appearance of the early season grass, although in the later season it turns whitish.