IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Redtop is an attractive grass during its short period of bloom, otherwise it is rather ordinary looking. In areas where it is grown as an agricultural crop, it can become a significant source of hayfever during the early summer. Redtop can be distinguished from other Agrostis spp. (Bentgrasses) by its colorful inflorescence during the blooming period and the width of its leaf blades (up to 1/3" across). Other Bentgrasses have an inflorescence that is green or grey during the blooming period and their leaf blades are more narrow. Some spikelets of Redtop are located near the rachis (central stalk) of the inflorescence; the spikelets of other Bentgrasses are often more remote from the rachis. In general, Bentgrasses can be distinguished from other grasses by their tiny one-flowered spikelets and their keeled persistent glumes, which lack conspicuous tufts of hair. Redtop is often referred to as Agrostis alba, although this scientific name is considered obsolete by Mohlenbrock (1972/2002).


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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