Description: Slender, erect, tufted annuals; culms tufted or solitary, usually smooth.
Leaves with sheath smooth, rounded; ligule membranous, to 1 mm long; blade rolled in bud, convolute or involute, lax to stiff, margins rough.
Inflorescence paniculate, 1-sided, narrow, erect to nodding, pedicels thickened. Spikelets oblong to wedge-shaped, solitary, pedicellate, disarticulating above the glumes and between the lemmas; florets 5–10, bisexual. Glumes unequal; lower glume minute to c. 60% the length of the upper lemma, 1-nerved; upper glume subequal to adjacent lemma, subulate, 3-nerved. Lemmas 5–10, subulate to lanceolate, tapering to an awn, rounded on the back, becoming rigid, faintly 5-nerved; awn straight, long, scabrous; callus short. Palea narrow, 2-keeled.
Distribution and occurrence: A genus of c. 20 species from temperate areas of the N. hemisphere. Australia 5 species naturalised, all States except Northern Territory. Most species are regarded here as undesirable components of run-down pasture.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Lemma usually more than 7 mm long; callus of lower lemma 0.5 mm or longer||Vulpia fasciculata|
|Lemma usually ± 7 mm long; callus of lower lemma less than 0.5 mm long||2|
|2||Inflorescence well-exserted from the leaf sheath at maturity; lower glume 25–75% the length of the upper||3|
|Inflorescence partly enclosed by a leaf sheath at maturity; lower glume less than 40% the length of the upper|
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|3||Lower glume 50–75% the length of upper; lemma 1.3–1.9 mm wide||Vulpia bromoides|
|Lower glume 25–50% the length of the upper; lemma 0.8–1.3 mm wide|
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|4||Spikelets with 3–6 female florets; lemma of female florets 5-nerved||Vulpia myuros|
|Spikelets with 1 or 2 female florets; lemma of female florets 3-nerved|
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