Dactylis glomerata. Also known as Cock’s-foot and Cat Grass, this tall perennial bunching tussock grass thrives in the cool season, and tolerates shade, drought, and the heat of summer. It is one of the finest silage grasses, producing very high quality hay. It is considered by many to be one of the finest for animal forage, with its very fine texture and apparent good flavour (and high sugar content) at the immature stage. If it is tilled under, Orchard Grass is an excellent source of carbon and organic matter, so it makes a great cover crop for fall or early spring applications. Left to grow, Dactylis can reach a height of 140cm (55″). It is long-lived and fast growing, producing faster re-growth in summer than Timothy Grass. Sow at a rate of 4.5kg (10 lbs) per acre, or mix 2.5kg (5 lbs) orchard grass with 4.5kg (10 lbs) crimson clover per acre.
Orchard Grass is the food plant of choice for many butterfly caterpillars.