Wavy Hair-grass

Deschampsia flexuosa

  1. Wildlife
  2. Grasses
  3. Wavy Hair-grass


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 can be found on heaths and moorlands, mainly with acidic soils. It is the foodplant of the caterpillar of the Wall Brown Butterfly, which is classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

How to identify

Wavy Hair-grass has fine leaves and loose flower heads with open clusters of delicate, purplish spikelets (containing the flowers) held on wavy stems. It flowers in June and July.

Where to find it



When to find it

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

How can people help

Windswept heaths and moors are an iconic feature of the UK's landscape and are the result of hundreds of years of low-impact human activities such as livestock-grazing and scrub clearance. Yet drainage, development and the decline of traditional farming methods have caused many of these precious habitats to be lost, and the species associated with them, such as Wavy Hair-grass, are now declining. The Wildlife Trusts manage many heathland habitats for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. 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
Wavy Hair-grass
Latin name
Deschampsia flexuosa
Height: up to 1m
Conservation status