categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

WATER BENT

Polypogon viridis

(Formerly: Polypogon semiverticillatus)
Grasses Family [Poaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8green
inner
inner8cream
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

20th June 2012, Moorfield Rd, Isle of Purbeck. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Like most 'bents' it has sharp(ish) bends in the stalks (but so too do some other grasses without 'Bent' in the colloquial name. It is tufted at the base, with numerous stems, which emerge horizontally but bend upwards and grow up to 60cm high. The leaves are between 2 and 10mm wide. The observant viewer may see that there is no water here for Water Bent to be next to; it doesn't always have to be near water; indeed it might be more common in other places.


20th June 2012, Moorfield Rd, Isle of Purbeck. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The inflorescence is dense and pyramidal at the top, having several branches up the stem at intervals on alternate sides. The spikelets have but one flower and the glumes (1.6 to 2.3mm long) are obtuse and without awns (long, thin hair-like projections). The lemmas ar 0.9 to 1.2mm long and also without awns. The anthers are only about 0.5mm long.


unknown date, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The bends occur at purplish 'elbows' with a leaf emerging just a little below the bend.


unknown date, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Two branched inflorescences.


unknown date, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The branches are also branched.


unknown date, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
There are no awns (long hairs) on either lemmas or glumes. (The glumes are in twos, and are the bottom pair of each spike of flowers)


unknown date, Sandown, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The pointed fawn-coloured 'sheath' is called a ligule, and they extend quite a way up the junction of each leaf on Water Bent.


It is a naturalised neophyte which is and urban weed found beside roads, on rough ground, beside pools, or on tips or waste lands or plant nurseries. Of late it is spreading fast and becoming naturalised in Central and Southern England.

It's common name 'Water Bent' is a bit of a misnomer; it is NOT a Bent grass but rather a Beard-grass like Annual Beard-Grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) and Southern Beard-grass (Polypogon maritimus).


  Polypogon viridis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Poaceae  

Distribution
 family8Grasses family8Poaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Polypogon
Polypogon
(Beard-Grasses)

WATER BENT

Polypogon viridis

(Formerly: Polypogon semiverticillatus)
Grasses Family [Poaceae]