Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Alopecurus geniculatus L.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: Species of Alopecurus are characterized by many 1-flowered spikelets; crowded
into slender, spike-like panicles. This species differs from the others by its perennial habit, its
short spikelets 1/10-1/6 inch long, and a bent awn inserted at the base of each lemma.
- Habitat: Wet areas, roadside ditches.
- Habit: Perennial grass, rooting at the lower nodes.
- Stems: Spreading or lying flat but becoming ascending at the tip, smooth, up to 1 1/2 feet
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, up to 1/6 inch wide, usually rough along the edges.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with many spikelets crowded into slender, spike-like panicles,
the panicles up to 3 1/2 inches long, up to 1/3 inch thick, sometimes purplish.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered, flat, 1/8-1/6 inch long, the glumes rounded at the tip, long-ciliate, the
gemma 5-nerved, shorter than the glumes, with a bent awn inserted at the base of the lemma
and about twice as long as the glumes.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Grains narrowly ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: This family is Poaceae according to Gleason and Cronquist. This is a naturalized
introduced species from Europe.
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