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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Alopecurus L. -- Foxtail


Tufted annuals and tufted or rhizomatous perennials with soft, flat leaves and dense, cylindric, spikelike panicles; culms erect or decumbent at the base. Spikelets 1-flowered, strongly compressed, densely crowded in the spikelike panicle, disarticulating below the glumes; glumes equal, laterally compressed, usually united toward the base, 3-nerved, often silky hairy on the back, awnless; lemma about as long as the glumes or shorter, laterally compressed with the margins united toward the base, faintly 3- to 5-nerved, awned from the back, the awn not exserted to exserted well beyond the glume tips; palea absent. Grain olivaceous to grayish-brown, somewhat obovoid, apiculate at both ends, 1-2 mm long.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Anthers more than 1.5 mm long; glumes more than 2.5 mm long; lemmas often more than 2.5 mm long. Lead 2
1 Anthers less than 1.5 mm long; glumes usually less than 2.5 mm long; lemmas often less than 2.5 mm long. Lead 3
2 Awns elongate, geniculate, 5-10 mm long, the exserted portion (1)2-6 mm long; plants nonrhizomatous, although some stems tending to root at the lower nodes. A. pratensis
2 Awns shorter, 0.3-2(6) mm long, seldom exserted as much as 2 mm; plants strongly rhizomatous. A. arundinaceus
3 Awn exserted just barely to 1.5 mm beyond the glume tips. A. aequalis
3 Awn exserted 2-4 mm beyond the glume tips. Lead 4
4 Plants annual; anthers ca. 0.5 mm long. A. carolinianus
4 Plants perennial; anthers 0.8-1.5 mm long. A. geniculatus

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
3. Alopecurus L. -- Foxtail
1. Alopecurus aequalis Sobol. -- Short-awn foxtail
2. Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir. -- Creeping foxtail
3. Alopecurus carolinianus Walt. -- Carolina foxtail
4. Alopecurus geniculatus L. -- Water foxtail
5. Alopecurus pratensis L. -- Meadow foxtail


Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
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