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Arrhenatherum elatius subsp. bulbosum 'Variegatum'

Arrhenatherum elatius subsp. bulbosum 'Variegatum'


Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) P. Beauv. ex J. Presl & C. Presl subsp. bulbosum 'Variegatum'

Family Name: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Synonyms: Arrhenatherum elatius var. tuberosum 'Variegatum', Avena bulbosa 'Variegatum', Arrhenatherum avenaceum var. bulbosum 'Variegatum'
Common Name: Striped Tuber Oat Grass, Variegated Tall Oatgrass, Variegated Bulbous Oat Grass, False Oat Grass, Orchard Grass


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Grass & Grass-like Plant, Herbaceous Plant, Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.5 m


Native Distribution Northern Africa, southwestern Europe (France, Portugal, Spain)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Mediterranean

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial clump-forming grass, up to 50cm tall.
Foliage Leaf blades narrowly linear, with green longitudinal stripes and white margins, soft to the touch, arising from basal or underground stacks of bulbous storage corms.
Flowers Panicles of inconspicuous greenish to purplish flowers. Not produced under hot dry conditions.
Cultivation Relatively slow-growing cool-season grass, likes dry days and cool nights. Prefers fertile, moist well-drained soils. Requires regular watering, especially during hot weather, which can cause leaf-tip browning and the foliage to die down. For neater look, browned trips can be sheared off, and old dead foliage can be removed for new regrowth. Propagate by division (clump can be divided once every 2-3 years), or root cuttings.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Arrhenatherum' derived from Greek terms 'arren' (male) and 'anther' (bristle), referring to the bristly awns on the male flowers. Species epithet 'elatius' means 'tall', alluding to the foliage; while subspecies epithet 'bulbosum' means 'bulbous', describing the swollen corms at the base of the plant.Despite its common names, plant is not related to the true Oats (Avena genus). Father of modern taxonomy Linnaeus mistakenly classified this group of grasses under Avena, but while the botanical name has been corrected, the association remained in the common names.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden, Naturalistic Garden, Wildflower Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Abiotic (Wind)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Root Cutting, Storage Organ, Division
Maintenance Requirements Remarks Leaves may turn brown and die down with hot weather, causing plant to look unkempt.


Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green, White
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Thin
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Corm)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green, Purple
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Image Repository



Master ID 29116
Species ID 3427
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 24 February 2022.