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Less frequent than common couch but still common in England. Less common in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Can be a problem weed in localised patches, particularly on light sandy or gravelly soils.


Tall tufted perennial 30-120 cm. Spreads by tough creeping rhizomes. Distinguished from common couch by long serrated ligule and lack of auricles. Flower head has large, open panicle - often oval and green or frequently purplish in colour. Spikelets are small, narrow, single flowered and awnless.


Black bent - Ligule
Long: up to 6 mm. Blunt and serrated.  

Auricles: Absent.

Leaf blade: Dull green, flat, broad and tapering to fine point. Rough, ribbed and hairless. Rolled.

Black bent - young Black bent seedling. © Blackthorn arable
Black bent - mature Black bent young plant showing rhizomes. Photo © HGCA


Identify grass-weeds

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