Alopecurus L.


Greek alopex – fox, oura – tail, referring to the shape of the flower head.

Mostly tufted perennials, rarely annual. Leaf blade flat. Ligule blunt and membranous. Inflorescence a narrow, dense, cylindrical, soft spike-like panicle. Spikelets with 1 bisexual floret; short-stalked and laterally flattened, falling entire at maturity. Glumes more or less equal, awnless, ridged, 3-nerved. Lemmas equal or shorter than glumes, the margins united in basal third, 4-5- nerved, ridged, often with awn at the base. Palea usually absent.


A. myosuroides provides forage.

Inflorescence tail-like; lemma with a dorsal bent awn.

About 36 species, Eurasia and temperate S America, mostly temperate Northern Hemisphere. 4 species naturalised in Australia.

Source: Spencer, R.; Aldous, D.; Stajsic, V.; McGeary, D (2005). Poaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Poaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Alopecurus pratensis L.