©Neil Wyatt


Scientific name: Phleum pratense
Timothy is a grass of meadows, arable land, waste ground and roadside verges. It is also cultivated as fodder for livestock. Look for slender stems and long, cylindrical flower spikes in summer.

Species information


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Although it is a common native grass, Timothy is actually named after an American farmer, Timothy Hanson, who introduced it into California in the 18th century. In the UK, Timothy can be found in meadows and arable fields, and on waste ground and roadside verges, flowering from June to August. It is often cultivated as a fodder plant for livestock.

How to identify

The long, dense flower spikes of Timothy are cylindrical in shape and sit atop a tall, slender stem. Its leaves are grey-green and flat.



Did you know?

Timothy is the foodplant for the caterpillars of the Essex Skipper and Small Skipper butterflies.

How people can help

Although they might not look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, railway cuttings and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts are involved in many projects to make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a Living Landscape: a network of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.