Branched flower-heads, spreading but narrow with 2-flowered, shiny green or purplish spikelets. Leaves are pointed and +/- rough with split sheaths and short blunt ligules. A coarse, usually hairless grass, the stems 60-150cm.
A. elatius var. bulbosum has tuberous swellings at base.
Widespread and abundant. Roadsides, waste ground, hedges.
Similar: Downy Oat-grass, Helictotrichon pubescens