Very common and widespread throughout the British Isles, mainly in lowland areas. It occurs in all cultivated land and can become a problem in cereals especially when continuous.
Loosely tufted annual or biennial, very variable in size 10-100 cm. Can feel soft to the touch. Panicle is large condensed and erect. Spikelets are elliptical in shape, with many flowers. Each flower is hairy and awned, the latter giving the spikelet a bristly appearance.
Leaf blade: Greyish-green, flat, finely pointed and limp. Softly short haired.