Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Look out for dog rose flowers this month.

Yorkshire fog. Amanda Sharpyorkshire fog

Holcus lanatus

  • Very common grass
  • Soft, grey hairy leaves
  • The flowering "plumes" are often purple-tinged
  • Peel back the basal leaves to reveal its unique pink striped fleshy stem - "stripy pyjamas"

Creeping soft grass (holcus mollis), which most commonly occurs in woods, looks very similar but has ‘hairy knees’ at junctions along the stem.

Yorkshire fog. Pete HolmesWhere found

All grassland and waste ground.

When to look for

Fabulous Yorkshire fog facts

  • Yorkshire fog is a food source for the speckled wood and small skipper butterflies

  • Also called velvet grass because of its velvety green leaves

  • It prefers wet ground and is often seen around drainage ditches

  • Producing a large amount of seed, it is a rapid coloniser of disturbed ground

  • Grazing animals will not eat it unless it is young or there is little else available