Weeds - Grass Weeds Information and Photo Gallery

Yorkshire fog

Weeds_fog.jpg (8951 bytes)


Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus) is perennial grass that prefers damp sites, shady areas and low ground. In ditches it can become dominant to the extent of excluding other species. It is a softly tufted grass growing relatively high compared with other grasses. The leaves are up to 1 cm wide and are greyish green in colour owing to the soft hair covering. The flower heads are densely clustered spikelets with hairy branches that are a characteristic milky white in colour with a slight pink or purple tinge. It is very unpalatable to most livestock and can cause an allergic reaction in and around the eyes of foraging cattle.

Occurrence and spread

Yorkshire fog is abundant across the British Isles. Yorkshire fog is an adaptable plant, capable of growing in a wide variety of soils. It prefers wet, poorly drained areas and responds to increasing fertility. It is a prolific seeder with individual plants capable of producing up to a quarter of a million seeds each season. Seeds germinate very quickly and as seed is small and fine it can travel long distances carried by wind. However, seedling vigour is poor and often fail to establish in dense pasture. Yorkshire fog can be used to make palatable silage of reasonable quality.

Control and management

Yorkshire fog is a grass that can rapidly colonise grassland especially in wetter areas, and because of its low palatability to livestock, it can become dominant if not managed correctly. This is particularly the case where environmental conditions become destabilised, for example following drought or flood. Glyphosate will offer reasonable control. Seek advice from your BASIS qualified adviser.

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