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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Colonial bentgrass — Agrostis capillaris = A. tenuis

Photo of colonial bentgrass


Colonial bentgrass is a cool-season grass that thrives in cool coastal weather. It is adapted to coastal regions in northern California where it is used for general lawn areas. It does best in cool, humid weather and can tolerate some shade.

Identifying tips

A very fine-bladed, light-green grass. The leaves are rolled in the bud, there are no auricles, and there is a short membranous ligule. Colonial bentgrass is a soft turf with upright leaves and a dense growth. It spreads by short rhizomes that may give rise to short stolons.


Moderate to high maintenance. It has a low tolerance for heat, salinity, water stress and traffic. It requires frequent irrigation, aerating and dethatching, and a relatively high level of fertilizer. Colonial bentgrass is slow to recover from moderate wear. 'Highland' is a cultivar of colonial bentgrass that tends to have a slightly higher tolerance for heat and drought.

Illustration of collar of colonial bentgrass
Collar of colonial bentgrass
Illustration of overall plant of colonial bentgrass
Overall plant structure of colonial bentgrass

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