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(Nardus stricta), a perennial grass of the family Gramineae. The plant has short rhizomes which form thick mats. The leaves are rigid and bristly; the blossoms are thin, one-sided spikes.
Mat grass is distributed in Western Europe (including Iceland), Greenland, North America (not native), and Asia Minor. In the USSR it is a common plant in the forest zone of the European part, as well as in the mountain meadows of the Carpathians and the Caucasus, and it is also found in Western Siberia. It grows in depleted podzol soils. Its Russian name, beloys (white mustache), comes from the white color of the deflorate stems. The plant multiplies quickly, crowding more valuable grasses from meadows; it leads to the bogging up of meadows. When it grows in sands, it strengthens them.