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Related to Holcus: Holcus lanatus, Holcus mollis
a genus of plants of the family Gramineae. The biflorate spikes are gathered into more or less paniculate inflorescences; one flower is bisexual and awnless, and the other is staminate and has an awn.
Eight species thrive in Eurasia and North Africa (including the Canary Islands), and one species is found in South Africa (the Cape region). In the USSR there are three species. Common velvet grass (H. lanatus) is found most frequently in dry meadows and mountain slopes in the central, western, and southern regions of the European part of the USSR and in the Caucasus. German velvet grass (H. mollis) grows in dry meadows and thickets, mainly in the western regions of the European part of the USSR. Both species are perennials. The annual bristly velvet grass (H. setosus) is found in the coastal sands of Talysh (Caucasus). Holcus has a large mass of verdure, but when cattle eat large quantities of it they may become ill because of the downy nature of the leaves. Holcus contains glycoside, which forms toxic substances when it decomposes.