Alopecurus pratensis L.

Poaceae (Grass Family)


Meadow Foxtail

                                         May Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Perennial, tufted; culms 30-80 cm. tall; lf. ligule 4.5-6 mm. long; blade 8-11 cm., 3.5-6 mm. wide; the panicles +/- 7 cm. long, 7 mm. wide which resemble those of timothy but the lemmas have protruding bent awns which are attached near their base and exceed the lemma body by 3-4 mm., the spikelets fall off at a touch when ripe; glumes 4.5-5.5 mm., this genus is one of the very few having united glumes, the glumes are ciliate on the keel.


Habitat:  Sometimes cultivated as a forage grass in the northern states and found growing wild in meadows and waste ground.  May-June.  (Pohl 88).  This species is not listed in Munz, Flora So. Calif., it is shown on the map in Phol's How To Know The Grasses as occurring in the northern states, coast to coast.  (my comment).


Name:  Greek, alopex, fox, and oura, tail, referring to the cylindrical panicle.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 944).  Latin, pratum, meadow.  Pratensis, of or from meadows.  (John Johnson).


General:  Rare in the study area having been found only once and this at the end of Constellation Dr. which is the beginning of the 23rd St. study area.  (my comment).      All the species of Alopecurus are all palatable and nutritious forage grasses, but usually are not found in sufficient abundance to be of great importance.  A. pratensis, meadow foxtail, is sometimes used as a meadow grass in the eastern United States.      About 25 spp. of temp. N. Hemis.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 944).       Cultivated for forage.  (Hickman, Ed. 1232).


Text Ref:  Hickman, Ed. 1232; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 944; Pohl 88.

Photo Ref:  May 1 88 # 13,14,15.

Identity: by John Johnson.

Computer Ref:  Plant Data 360.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 4/8/03.



                                            May Photo