Alopecurus* L.,. Fl. Petrop. 16 (1799).
From Greek alopex (fox) and oura (tail), alluding to the shape of
the inflorescence resembling the tail of a fox.
(keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 555–556
(1878); C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae
143–145 (1952); M.Lazarides, Flora of Central Australia 435–436 (1981);
J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 90–91(1983);
J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1917–1918 (1986); B.K.Simon, Key
to Australian Grasses 64 (1993);S.W.L.Jacobs and S.M.Hastings, Flora of
New South Wales 4: 567 (1993); N.G.Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 498–501
(1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 284–285
(1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 242–245 (2000);
D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South
Australia 190–193 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses
of New South Wales, 4th Ed, 114–115 (2008); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of
Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 253–256 (2009).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (219).
Naturalised. 36 species, from Eurasia & temperate South America. 4 species in Australia,
WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Annual or perennial, rhizomatous or stoloniferous or tufted or decumbent. Leaf blades
narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence paniculate, a spike-like panicle, cylindrical to capitate.
Spikelets laterally compressed, 1 flowered, with 1 fertile floret, awned,
pedicelled; with rachilla terminating in a floret. Fertile spikelets falling
more or less equal, long relative to adjacent lemmas, pointed, awnless, keeled
(the keels ciliate), similar (membranous, often connate along lower margins).
Lower glume 3 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved.
Fertile florets 1. Lemmas often with the margins connate below, less firm than
glumes to similar in texture to glumes (hyaline), not becoming indurated,
entire at apex, pointed or blunt, awned, 5 nerved, hairy or glabrous. Awns 1,
dorsal, geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma to much longer than body of
lemma. Palea present (rarely) or absent (usually), when present, very reduced.
Lodicules 0. Stamens 3. Grain small. Hilum short. Embryo small. Endosperm
2n = 14,
28, 42, 56, and 100, 2, 4, 6, 8, 14, and 17 ploid, commonly adventive.
Helophytic, mesophytic. Damp meadows to stony slopes. Species of open habitats.
Types Species. A
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.