Common names: common velvet grass; Yorkshire fog
Holcus lanatus (common velvet grass) is a tufted perennial grass (family Poaceae) that is native Europe, western Asia, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands. It is naturalized across most of North America and most commonly grows in moist meadows and pastures. Plants have soft, hairy leaves and stems, an erect stature, and compact panicles that can reach up to 15 cm in length. Flowers are self-fertile and spikelets are commonly 2-flowered. Common velvet grass plants are prolific seed producers and can also reproduce via tillers. They can establish monocultures that exclude other species, show evidence of allelopathic properties, and can grow in a variety of habitats, including in poorly drained, low nutrient soils.Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate?
CDFA Rating: None?
Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
Weed Management Notes
- Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.
Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles
- Exploring alternative methods for vegetation control and maintenance along roadsides. Young, Steve L.. Vol 10, Issue 4
Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations
Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.
- Challenges and lessons learned in the Muir Beach wetland restoration project. LeBeau, Naomi (2020)
- Controlling the spread of velvet grass (Holcus lanatus) in California coastal prairies: the benefits and constraints of five management techniques. Cooper, Michelle; Olyarnik, Suzanne (2012)
- Herbicide control of velvet grass in Yosemite National Park. Hutten, Martin; Jones, Laura; Dickman, Garret; Nelson, Caroline (2010)
- Variable responses of a California grassland to the reintroduction of tule elk. Johnson, Brent (2010)
- Grasses working group. Clines, Joanna; DiTomaso, Joe; Meyer, Tanya (2004)
- Out of the frying pan: Invasion of exotic perennial grasses in coastal prairies. Corbin, Jeffrey D.; Thomsen, Meredith; Alexander, Janice; D_Antonio, Carla M. (2004)
- Annual grasses: Status of biology and control. D'Antonio, Carla; Gerlach, John (2003)
Other Holcus lanatus Information
- Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
- CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
- Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
- CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
- EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
- Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
- USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.