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Deschampsia cespitosa, commonly known as tufted hairgrass or tussock grass[1] is a perennial tufted plant in the grass family Poaceae.[2] Distribution of this Deschampsia grass species is widespread including the eastern and western coasts of North America, parts of South America, Eurasia and Australia.

Deschampsia cespitosa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Deschampsia
D. cespitosa
Binomial name
Deschampsia cespitosa

Deschampsia caespitosa

The species is cultivated as an ornamental garden plant, and numerous cultivars are available. The cultivar ‘Goldschleier’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[3][4]



It can be found on all types of grassland, although it prefers poorly drained soil. It forms a major component of the British NVC community MG9 - Holcus lanatus to Deschampsia cespitosa mesotrophic grasslands. It can exist up to altitudes of 4000 ft.[5]

A distinguishing feature is the upper surface of the leaf blade which feels rough and can cut in one direction, but is smooth in the opposite direction. The upper side of the leaves are deeply grooved, and are dark green.

It can grow to 4.5 feet (1.5 Meters) tall, and has a long, narrow, pointed ligule.[6]

It flowers from June until August.

North AmericaEdit

Typical native grass associates in the western North American coastal prairies, such as the California coastal prairie, are Festuca californica, Festuca idahoensis, Danthonia californica, and Nassella pulchra.

See alsoEdit

Line notesEdit


  1. ^ "Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) P.Beauv. record n° 50145". African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Retrieved 2008-05-13.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Jepson Manual. 1993
  3. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldschleier'". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 16. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ Grasses by C E Hubbard, 1978, published by Penguin books
  6. ^ Identification ResourcesBSBI Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine Identification Resources website

External linksEdit