Height: A tufted grass up to 100 cm in height.
Leaves are grey-green and softly hairy. Peeling back the basal leaves reveals the distinct striped purple stem base.
Flowers: The flower inflorescence forms a loose head which is often purple tinged. The flower head is 3-20 cm long with the smaller individual flower spikes 4-6 mm long.
Distribution: Widespread and common, found on all types of grassland and waste ground.