About Amenity Grasses – Species Identification and Suitability – Miscellaneous Grasses

Phoenix Amenity Supplies offers a comprehensive range of amenity grass species and varieties in our specially formulated grass seed mixtures.This Species Identification and Suitability Guide has been created as a support for customers and advisors to help with their choice of species and seed mixtures.

Some varieties of these seed species can be found in the range of Phoenix Amenity Seed Mixtures.

Permanent Pastureland Grass Seed Mixture

Birdstrike Seed Mixture

Calcareous Soil Wildflower Seed Mixture

Grass Species Found in  a Variety of Land Uses

  • Couch – Agropyron repens

Description:  A perennial weed grass, widespread on arable land and pasture. It is off white with pointed rhizomes. Has an erect habit. The leaves are dull and greyish on the underside with clear rows of white specks. Flowers June to September. Suitability: Resists frost, drought, salt and flooding. Likes fertile soil where it can develop rapidly and it will suppress other plants. Does not tolerate short mowing or shade, can be controlled with the use of  a heavy crop which gives lots of shade like Italian Ryegrass. Rhizomes are said to have a medicinal effect. Height: Up to 100cm


  • Timothy – Phleum pratensis

Description: A perennial tuft forming meadow grass  with short rhizomes. It is light green sometimes a little bluish, the leaf sheath is open with a twisted top that grow erect  or with a curve. The leaves, which are soft and hairless, have a weak flattened rib often with a groove in the centre. Flowers June to August. Suitability: An excellent meadow grass which when not flowering is very palatable to livestock. Some varieties are used for hay, others for pasture. Very tolerant to wear, it is common on firm moisture-retaining soil. It is very hardy.  Height: 20 to 200cm.


  • Cocksfoot – Dactylis glomerata

Description: A perennial grass species which is a dense tuft former. It has few hairs and has greyish green leaves. A course highly productive grass it sometime flowers again in autumn. With striking broad flat shoots against which the white ligule stands out, it may be confused with smooth stalked meadow grass when at a young stage, however the leaves get narrower towards the point. Flowers May to June. Suitability: Cocksfoot is a common grass which prefers dry, fertile and lime-rich soil.  Height: 30-90cm. Uses: Found in pasture it regrows quickly after mowing. cattle will not eat ageing cocksfoot. Makes an excellent over-wintering place for insects.


  • Crested Dog’s Tail – Cynosurus cristatus

Description: A perennial meadow grass and tuft former. It owes its name to the crests on the spikelets, a hairless grass species of a greyish green colour. The underside of the leaf is moderately shiny and it usually has a constriction about half-way down the leaf. Suitability: A dense species with shoots that have little leaf, often found in meadows with a moderate to insufficient phosphate content. It prefers loam and clay soil. Flowers – June to August. Height: 20-80cm. Uses: A good feed grass of old sheep’s meadows, it does not thrive in modern grassland with extensive fertilisation.


  • Yorkshire Fog – Holcus lanatus

Description: A perennial grass which is a dense tuft former. It owes its name to its white hairs. The leaf sheath has violet stripes on a white background. The tufts are dense and may produce seed in abundance. A field of Yorkshire fog has a pink sheen. Suitability: Common in grassland, it prefers wet, acid, sandy and peaty soil that has been fertilised to a lesser degree for other grasses to become too competitive. Flowers from May to August. Height:  30 – 90 cm. Uses: Found on verges and embankments and low quality meadows, the hairs make it unattractive to livestock, it is moderately hardy but may suffer from rust fungi.


  • Meadow Foxtail – Alopecurus pratensis

Description: A perennial grass that forms dense tufts with short rhizomes. Also called common foxtail – ias the spikelets look like a foxes tail – it is a hairless grass which has an open leaf sheath. The spike looks a bit like timothy except it flowers much earlier in April. and onto July.  Suitability: Considered a rather common meadow grass – it likes lime-rich and humid soil, so is mainly found in clay soil. Height: 30-100cm  Uses: It is very hardy and is found along verges that are cut late and consist of lime0-rich clay. Also often found in water meadows, a sturdy and rather stringy grass