Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Annual Rabbit-foot Grass
Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its soft bristly spike-like panicles and its one-flowered spikelets with both the glumes and lemmas awned.
- Habitat: Wet soil in ditches, marshes, along streams and rivers, around lakes and ponds.
- Habit: Annual grass with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Solitary or several in clumps, upright, up to 2 feet tall, hollow.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, up to 8 inches long, up to 1/3 inch wide, rough along the
edges, otherwise smooth, conspicuously ridged on the upper surface; ligule up to 1/4 inch
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets arranged in a dense panicle that resembles a spike.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered, the glumes about 1/10 inch long, awned from the notched tip, the awn up to 1/3 inch long, the lemma with an awn about 1/10 inch long.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Ovoid, smooth.
- Notes: This native of Europe is regularly found in moist, disturbed areas. The grains are eaten by waterfowl.
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