Discover more than 5000 plants that are found across Canada. MY ACCOUNT
SPECIES > Graminoids > Deschampsia cespitosa

Return to search results

Tufted Hairgrass

( Deschampsia cespitosa )


Tufted Hairgrass
Deschampsia cespitosa
(Linnaeus) Palisot de Beauvois
Deschampsia caespitosa
Deschampsia caespitosa var. arctica
Deschampsia caespitosa ssp. glauca
Deschampsia caespitosa var. longiflora
Deschampsia caespitosa var. littoralis
Deschampsia caespitosa var. mackenzieana
Deschampsia ssp. parvifora




Clay, Sand, Loam

Dry, Normal, Moist, Wet




Habitat Considerations

Taiga Plains, Taiga Shield, Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains, Boreal Plains, Prairies, Taiga Cordillera, Boreal Cordillera, Pacific Maritime, Montane Cordillera, Hudson Plains

Forest, Woodland, Savannah, Forest Edge, Prairie/Meadow/Field, Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field, Riparian, Swamp/Marsh, Bog/Fen, Alpine, Rocky Bluff, Tundra

Woodland, Prairie/Meadow
Design Considerations

0 cm

100 cm

May - Aug









Squirrels, Birds

Conservation Status

Interesting Tidbits

The above synonymous Latin names are just some of many listed at the USDA Plant Database. This clumped grass prefers acid soil but can grow on alkaline ground. It has even been found on mine tailings in Ontario. It will tolerate some saline water when it grows near salt marshes. Tufted grass can be an aggressive colonizer in alpine and subalpine regions. Large mammals including bears, elk, deer and small mammals rely on it for some of their diet. (USDA Forest Service (Graminoid) Habitat Information: Colonizing early sites as well as dominant in climax habitats, this plant is adaptable to many conditions. This plant has been studied for its broad ecological range in areas of abandoned coal mines in Sudbury. Lands there were subject to disturbance by fire, logging, soil erosion, sulphur dioxide, other mining fallout, and enhanced frost effects. This species was found to be good at recolonizing moist sites in these areas. It tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions including alkaline and cool acid substrates. Tufted hairgrass has a broad ecological range and is a circumglobal species. It is typically associated with mesic meadows, bordering bogs, marshes and sloughs. It is common in the Rocky Mountain foothills of west central Alberta. In the Northern Hemisphere it occurs from sea level to 4,300 m elevations. It provides excellent forage for livestock. (US Forest Service) Garden Uses: A medium sized grass, this works in a variety of ornamental and naturalized situations in gardens.This plant is aesthetically showy with clumping rounded form, leaves and arching seed heads, and can be a ground covering to discourage to weeds. (Evergreen) This plant has not been associated with any particular insects. (Evergreen) Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: The seed has been said to be ground into flour and also used as cereal. The seed is small. (Plants for a Future)

CanPlant assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the database. While most entries are accurate, errors may occur. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any errors in the information or for any adverse effects relating to the use of the plants or the information. If you notice a problem with the information, please let us know by sending an email so we can correct it.