A tufted grass which produces unbranched, bristly flower spikes. The leaves are light green, flat and hairy. Annual. Plant height 30cm. Flower size 9 to 10cm.
Flowers May to July. It is found on bare ground, waste ground, roadside verges, field and wood margins, and coastal areas. Common and widespread in central, southern and eastern England, and scarcer elsewhere.
Photographs taken June 2012, local woodland margin, Staffordshire.