Flora of Northern Ireland
Arrhenatherum elatius
© Paul Hackney
Arrhenatherum elatius
© Alan Hill
Arrhenatherum elatius
(Map updated: March 2008)

This tall, conspicuous wild native grass has flowers similar in appearance to those of oats (but smaller). It is very common in a variety of grassy habitats.

There are two subspecies or varieties: one has swollen bases to the main shoots, like small onion bulbs, and is sometimes called 'onion couch'; the other lacks these swellings. Both varieties appear to be equally abundant in Northern Ireland.

All names: Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) P.Beauv.; Arrhenatherum avenaceum Beauv.; Arrhenatherum bulbosum (Willd.) C.Presl; Arrhenatherum tuberosum F.W.Schultz