Vulpia* Fl. Badensis 1: 8 (1805).
Derivation:. From Latin vulpes (fox), possibly alluding to the inflorescence shape resembling a fox's tail.
Taxonomic revisions, nomenclatural references:. R.Cotton and C.A.Stace, Bot. Not. 130: 173–188 (1977).
Key references (keys and floras):. C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 89–91 (1952);M.Lazarides, Flora of Central Australia 431 (1981); J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 432–433 (1983); P.M.Kloot, Flora of South Australia 4:1903–1905 (1986); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 175 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and K.L.McClay, Flora of New South Wales 4: 607–608 (1993); N.G. Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 405–409 (1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 202–204 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 207–211 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 168–175 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th ed, 397–399 (2008); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 290–295 (2009).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (112).
Naturalised. 23 species, from temperate regions. 5 species in Australia, WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also Malesia and New Zealand.
Habit. Annual or perennial (rarely), tufted. Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single raceme (rarely) or paniculate, a spike-like panicle, open or contracted.
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, more than 2 flowered, with 2 or more fertile florets, awned, pedicelled; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets disarticulating above glumes (also, sometimes, at the base of the pedicel).
Glumes. Glumes unequal, shorter than spikelet, shorter than adjacent lemmas or long relative to adjacent lemmas, pointed, awned (u.g., sometimes) or awnless, non-keeled, dissimilar (usually, the lower glume often minute, the upper glume acute to acuminate). Lower glume 0 nerved or 1 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved or 3 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 2–15 (rarely only 1). Lemmas tapered, decidedly firmer than glumes (chartaceous, with thin margins), not becoming indurated, entire at apex, pointed, awned, 3–5 nerved, hairy or glabrous, 1 keeled to not keeled. Awns 1, apical, non-geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma to much longer than body of lemma. Palea relatively long, apically notched, 2 nerved. Callus short. Lodicules 2. Stamens 1–2 (rarely 3). Grain small or medium sized or large, longitudinally grooved, compressed dorsiventrally, with hairs confined to a terminal tuft. Hilum long-linear. Embryo small.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 14, 28, and 42, 2, 4, and 6 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Mesophytic, xerophytic. Dry places, including coastal sand. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Poeae.
Notes. A surprisingly variable little genus, closely related to and hybridizing with Festuca but introducing a number of novel trends associated with its annual habit (Clayton and Renvoize 1986).
Types Species. V. myuros (L.) C.C.Gmel.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.