Crested Dog's-tail

Cynosurus cristatus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Grasses
  3. Crested Dog's-tail


Once grown as a crop and used for making bonnets, the native Crested Dog's-tail is a common, tufted, perennial grass of grasslands and meadows. It tolerates many different kinds of soils, but is generally a lowland species and doesn't like to be waterlogged.

How to identify

The short, upright flower spikes of Crested Dog's-tail make this species relatively easy to spot. Growing in compact tufts, it is a rather stiff-looking grass with narrow, green leaves. At the end of the stem is a tightly packed cluster of spikelets (containing the flowers) which are arranged to form a long, rectangular shape.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways these fragile habitats are kept in good condition - supporting wildflowers and grasses, along with the invertebrates that feed on them and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on the invertebrates. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Crested Dog's-tail
Latin name
Cynosurus cristatus
Height: up to 75cm
Conservation status