Holcus lanatus L.
common velvet grass, Yorkshire fog
Poaceae

This perennial bunchgrass invades disturbed sites rapidly. It forms dense stands which shade out seedling establishment, but allelopathic activity is also suspected (Watt 1978). Seeds are produced abundantly and dispersed by wind. Seedling growth is much more rapid than in native species. As with most bunchgrasses, this species tolerates fires and regenerates rapidly from basal shoots. Holcus has not been evaluated for biological control but potential agents and the effectiveness of some herbicides are noted by Watt (1978). The sugar industry will probably resist any move to import biocontrol agents.

This plant is widely distributed in all but the most xeric habitats above 1,300 m. Jacobi (1981) suggested that, once disturbance is eliminated, Holcus will remain stable in a native grassland community.


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