Cut-grass is a creeping perennial with flat, pale yellowish-green leaves that have rough edges. Its inflorescence is usually enclosed within a cowl-like sheath at first, and the branches when they emerge are wavy.
This species flowers from August to October and has a habit of climbing over other plants on the river banks and ditches where it is found. It seems to tolerate quite acid conditions but needs stagnant or slow-moving water with a regular seasonal rainfall or water-level rise.
Whilst thought to have always been a rare plant in Britain, cut-grass is declining through the loss of traditional forms of water-course management, and the grazing that controls competitor species. There may also have been a reduction in the areas of wet grassland available for colonisation.
Cut-grass is listed under the UK Biodiversity Action Plans and included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. The largest remaining population of this plant has been monitored for over twenty years, and the information from this extended survey will be used to influence the management at all the other sites. It may also be possible to reintroduce the plant to suitable sites in the future.
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