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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

3. Alopecurus L. -- Foxtail

2. Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir. -- Creeping foxtail


Strongly rhizomatous perennial (4)7-11 dm tall, often purplish at the base and in the inflorescence; culms stout, erect. Leaves mostly toward the base, reduced upward on the culm; blades 3-11 mm wide, smooth or scabrous on the upper surface; ligule membranous, 1-3 mm long. Spikelike panicle appearing silky due to hairs of the glumes, often grayish-purple, turning gray-brown with age, 3-11 cm long, 6-12 mm thick. Glumes 3.5-5.5 mm long, acute to acuminate, spreading-villous on the keel, glabrous or with shorter appressed hairs on the sides; lemmas 2-4 mm long; awn of the lemma 0.3-2(6) mm long, straight to slightly geniculate, unexserted or exserted as much as 2 mm; anthers 1.5-2.5 mm long. May--Jul(Aug). Wet meadows, shores, stream banks, ditches and other wet or moist places; frequently planted in low ground of tame pastures and hay meadows, especially in the n part; rapidly becoming naturalized; (Intro. from Eurasia and established in parts of s Can. and the northern Great Plains).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Alopecurus aequalis Sobol. -- Short-awn foxtail
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
Next Section -- Alopecurus carolinianus Walt. -- Carolina foxtail

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