This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is fields, pastures, hedges, hedgerows, etc. The habit is erect. The root is fibrous and creeping. The stem is smooth, slender. The leaves are flat, rough, and so protected against cattle. The nodes are smooth or downy. The ligule is blunt. The simple panicle is loose, with the branches twice or thrice divided, rough, long, close above, nodding. There is a twisted bent awn in the lower flowering glume, the upper having none. The lower empty glume is less than the upper, which is acute, lance-shaped. The flowering glume is hairy below the middle. There are 3 stamens. The styles are short and distinct. The stigmas are feathery. The fruit is downy, enclosed in the flowering glume and palea. It is 2-3 ft. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
This plant is found in dry pastures and on banks. The habit is erect, tufted. The stem is round, smooth, leafless above. The leaves are threadlike, with a few hairs. The sheaths are smooth. The ligule is divided into two nearly to the base. The spike is linear, stiff, with a wavy rachis. The spikelets are stalkless, close, arranged all on one side of the rachis, flattened in one plane, and with a short awn. The empty glumes are abruptly pointed, the flowering glumes rough above, faintly 3-nerved. There are 3 stamens. The terminal styles are short, the stigmas feathery. The fruit adheres to the flowering glume and palea. It is 6-24 in. high. It is in flower from July to August. The plant is a perennial.
This plant is found in pastures, waste places, etc. The habit is erect, tufted, the root being tufted. The plant is rough, the leaves flat, broad, long, keeled, and flattened at the border. The sheath is rough, the ligule long. The panicle is rigid, with long, distant, spreading, distinct branches, green or violet, with few branches below, rough, horizontal in flower, in fruit ascending. The spikelets are arranged all on one side, in egg-shaped clusters. The two empty glumes have a blunt point, and are membranous, the upper are 3-nerved, the flowering glumes are cartilaginous, and larger, 5-nerved. The awn is short and rough. There are 3 stamens. The stigmas are feathery, the styles terminal. The fruit is flattened on one side, grooved on the other, and enclosed in the glume. The Cock's Foot Grass is 1-4 ft. in height. It flowers from June to July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is meadows, pastures, heaths, etc, usually on dry soil. The habit is prostrate, then erect, with single stems, slender, and smooth. The leaves are linear, with a long point, flat, smooth or rough. The sheaths are smooth, the upper ones inflated. The ligule is very short and blunt. The panicle is spreading, pyramidal, light, with long slender branches. The spikelets are egg-shaped, pendulous, green or purple, shining, of 5 florets. The glumes are not so long as the lowest florets, the flowering glumes blunt, overlapping or sheathing. The lower palea is oval, cartilaginous. The stamens are 3. The styles are terminal and short, the stigmas feathery. The fruit is flattened, and enclosed in the glume. The plant is 6-12 in. in height, and flowers in June and July. It is a herbaceous perennial.