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Genus Alopecurus Family Poaceae
Common Name: Foxtails

Description: Tufted perennials, or rarely annuals, sometimes rooting at lower nodes.

Leaves with ligule blunt, membranous; blade flat.

Inflorescence a dense spike-like panicle, narrow, soft.

Spikelets very shortly pedicellate, strongly laterally compressed, disarticulating below the glumes and falling entire at maturity; 1 bisexual floret. Glumes subequal, margins united at the base, acute, awnless, keeled, ciliate on the keel. Lemmas equal to or shorter than the glumes, 3- or 4-nerved, keeled, thin, margins often united towards the base, with a slender geniculate awn attached towards the base of the back. Palea absent.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Australia: 4 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Alopecurus aequalis

 Key to the species 
1Glumes glabrous (except for minutely hairy keels) and united for more than 30% of their length; keels wingedAlopecurus myosuroides
Glumes hairy on sides and keel, united for less than 30% of their length; wing on keel absent2
2Lemma truncate with margins free; glumes obtuse; spikelets 2–3.5 mm longAlopecurus geniculatus
Lemma acute with margins united for c. 25% of their length; glumes acute; spikelets 4–6 mm long
                       Back to 1
Alopecurus pratensis

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