Common name: Rat's Tail Fescue
Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C.Gmel. APNI*
Synonyms: Vulpia myuros f. megalura (Nutt.) Stace & Cotton APNI*
Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C.Gmel. f. myuros APNI*
Description: Densely tufted annual to 0.6 m high.
Culms erect, smooth, glabrous; nodes 2–3, glabrous. Sheaths becoming loose with age, smooth, glabrous or apex sometimes scattered with hairs <0.25 mm long; ligule membranous, <0.5 mm long, truncate, erose; blade 2–15 cm long, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface pilose or pubescent with hairs <0.5 mm long.
. Inflorescence racemose or paniculate, closed, 1-sided, erect or nodding, 2–20 cm long (excluding awns), to 1 cm wide (excluding awns), partly enclosed by uppermost sheath or shortly exserted at maturity; rachis usually scabrous, glabrous. Spikelets 7–9 mm long (excluding awns), to 4 mm wide (excluding awns); florets 4–7, distal 1–2 florets reduced; pedicel 1–6 mm long, scabrous, glabrous. Glumes unequal, awnless, membranous, glabrous; lower glume triangular, 15–40% length of upper glume, 0.5–2 mm long, acute; upper glume triangular to lanceolate, 3–5 mm long, subulate. Lemmas linear to lanceolate, 4–6 mm long (excluding awns), tapering to awn, glabrous, scabrous, margin membranous; awn straight, 9–14 mm long, scabrous; palea subequal to lemma, acute, 2-keeled, keels scabrous, colliculate, glabrous.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread species. Native of Medit. region.
Grows in disturbed habitats.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A.
A distinct form of this species, sometimes referred to as *V. megalura (Nutt.) Rydb., has lemmas that are ciliate towards the apex, and occurs throughout the range.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B. Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
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