Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Alopecurus pratensis L.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this foxtail are its long-ciliate glumes, its
spikelets 1/4-1/3 inch long, and its perennial growth form.
- Habitat: Moist open areas, meadows, pastures, ditches.
- Habit: Perennial grass with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright or ascending, usually somewhat rough to the touch, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, somewhat rough to the touch, 1/10-1/4 inch wide.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with many spikelets crowded into slender, spike-like panicles,
the panicles up to 5 inches long, up to 1/2 inch thick.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered, flat, 1/4-1/3 inch long, the glumes pointed, long-ciliate, the lemma
about as long as the glumes, with a bent awn inserted near 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 species is a
naturalized introduction from Europe.
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