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: (2005). Poaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.