Nardus stricta (matgrass, moor matgrass, or nard grass) is a densely tufted, tough, wiry perennial plant species belonging to the family Poaceae (grasses), and found throughout much of the world. It exists on heath, moorland, hills, mountains; on sandy to peaty soils. It can occur from low elevations to over 3000 feet.

Its wide distribution can be accounted by the fact that it is not grazed by cattle or sheep due to being tough and unpalatable.


Culms are erect and 25–60 cm long, with grey-green leaf-blades filiform and involute, ranging from 4–30 cm long by 0.5–1 mm wide, i.e. bristle like. They are also unbranched. The ligule is 2mm and blunt.

The roots and shoots are very closely packed together at the base of the plant producing a white, tough, highly reflective feature.

The spikelets are very slender and loosely overlapping in two rows each side of the spikelet axis. Each lemma is tipped with an awn.

It flowers from June until August.

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