Advanced Search Map Locator
Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
My Plant Lists Nurseries Planting Guide Contact Calscape About Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Botanical Name
Show All Plants Show Only Plants in Nurseries
Grid view Text view
Agrostis pallens

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range

About Thingrass (Agrostis pallens) Agrostis pallens is a species of grass known by the common name seashore bent grass. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to Montana to California, where it grows in many types of habitats. In California it is widespread except for the central valley and deserts. It is a perennial grass growing 10 to 70 centimeters in height, sometimes from a rhizome. The leaves vary in width and length but are generally not more than 5 centimeters long. The flower cluster is a narrow array of thin branches bearing small clusters of spikelets, each spikelet being just a few millimeters long.

This is a native grass that can be used as a lawn substitute. It has a deep green color, medium leaf blades, can be mowed if desired, requires half the water of non-native lawn grasses, and tolerates some foot traffic. If mowed, the look would be similar to the edge of a golf course fairway; if not mowed it will have a meadow look. This grass is becoming more available through commercial seed vendors as people look for alternatives to non-native lawn grasses.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
0.33 - 2.3 ft (0.1 - 0.7 m)

Upright, Spreading


Growth Rate

Evergreen, Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open meadows, grasslands, coastal strand, openings in chaparral, woodland or forest

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
-23' - 14119'

Annual Precip. ?
8.9" - 132.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.41"

Coldest Month ?
18.1° F - 56.4° F

Hottest Month ?
39.0° F - 80.8° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 27.58 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils as long as drainage is good

Soil Texture
Clay, Sand

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Can be combined with many different plants depending on the use. In a meadow-like garden or rock garden it can be used with various annuals or herbaceous perennials. In the understory of a woodland garden it can be used with virtually any trees or large shrubs.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
2x/month, 3x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Can tolerate close mowing heights, making it a good lawn alternative.

Common uses

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Seashore Bent Grass, Seashore Bentgrass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In