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a genus of perennial and, less commonly, annual grasses of the family Gramineae. The small, one-flowered spike-lets are gathered in loose panicles. There are approximately 200 species, distributed in the temperate and cold belts, mainly in the northern hemisphere in the mountains of tropical regions. The USSR has more than 30 species, growing mainly in the forest zone. The plants grow in meadows (often in large clusters), in glades, amid thickets, and along bodies of water.
The genus includes many forage grasses. The species A. stolonifera (formerly A. alba) and A. gigantea, which are found along wet meadows, are used for pasture and silage. Both species are grown in grass mixtures for lowland meadows. Other forage grasses include the dog bent (A. canina), which grows in the European USSR; the Siberian species A. clavata and A. trinii; and the Caucasian species A. planifolia. The Rhode Island bent (A. tenius; formerly A. capillaris) is often found in dry meadows but is rarely eaten by livestock. A number of species, including the dog bent and the Rhode Island bent, are grown for lawns. A. alpina, the cloud bent (A. nebulosa), and A. rupestris are ornamentals.
REFERENCESKormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 1. Edited by I. V. Larin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
T. V. EGOROVA