Wavy hair-grass

Wavy hair grass

Brian Eversham

Wavy hair-grass

Scientific name: Deschampsia flexuosa
Wavy hair-grass lives up to its name: its fine, hair-like leaves and delicate flower heads can be seen shaking in the breeze of a windswept moorland or heathland.

Species information


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


With wavy stems, fine, hair-like leaves, and delicate, shaking flower heads, wavy hair-grass certainly lives up to its common name. A tuft-forming, perennial grass, it prefers acidic soils and can be found on heathland and moorland, flowering in June and July. It is the foodplant of the caterpillar of the wall brown butterfly, which is classified as a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

How to identify

Wavy hair-grass has fine leaves and drooping stems that hold loose flower heads with open clusters of delicate, purplish spikelets (containing the flowers).



Did you know?

The common sun beetle - a black beetle with a copper, metallic sheen - is associated with wavy hair-grass.
The Wildlife Trusts are working to restore and protect our heathlands by promoting good management, clearing encroaching scrub and implementing beneficial grazing regimes.