Koeleria macrantha

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeKoeleriaKoeleria macrantha


A perennial herb of grasslands on infertile, mainly calcareous substrates; also around rock outcrops, screes, quarry heaps and old lead workings. In many areas it is most frequent in dry, sandy, base-rich grassland on cliff-tops and dunes. Generally lowland, but reaching at least 680 m on Mt Brandon (S. Kerry).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 989

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1250

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 266

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 7

Atlas Change Index: -0.29

JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (392a)
Dixon JM
2000.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 212. Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schultes. Journal of Ecology. 88:709-726.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Looman J
1978.  Biological Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. V. Koeleria gracilis Pers. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 58:459-466.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.