Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir. - Foxtail creeping.

Systematic position.

Family Poaceae Barnhart Genera Agrostis L.


A. exaltatus Less., A. muticus Kar. & Kir., A. repens Bieb. Nom. Illegit., A. ventricosus Pers. 1805, non Huds. 1778)

Morphology and biology.

It is a perennial, long rhizomatous grass without a bunch, or with a light one. Height is 50-130 cm tall. Stem is erect. Plant is warm grey. Leaf is up to 10 mm wide, plane, with inflated leaf sheath. Inflorescence is very dense spike-like panicle, 3-10 cm long, 15 mm wide, pale green color, and dark at the time of maturing. Spikelet is 4-9 mm long. It has one flower, plane, pubescent, without awn or with short straight awn. Glumes have obtuse apexes that diverge to opposite sides. Lower floral glume is wide, egg-shaped and thin. The sides of one are accrete. Lower floral glumes have obliquely cut tops, 5 thin nerves, and the middle nerve changes to a nude smooth awn. Base, sides and lateral nerves of lower floral glumes are pubescent. There is no upper floral glume. Anthers are 2-3 mm long. Plant is cross-pollinated, wind-pollinated. Once seeds mature they are quickly dispersed. Mass of 1000 seeds is 0.3-0.4 g. Flowers in June/July, matures in July/August. Plant reproduces by seed and vegetatively. 2n=28.


European part of former USSR (this species is adventitious in taiga forest zone (Tzvelev, 1976), except for sites along pond banks, Caucasia, Western and Eastern Siberia (except Arctic part), Far East (most regions except for the Arctic and Kamchatka, adventitious), Middle Asia (all regions); Scandinavia, Atlantic and Middle Europe, Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, The Himalayas, Mongolia. It is adventitious or introduced in several other countries.


Mesohydrophite, facultative halophyte. Species occurs in flood plains and lacustrine salty meadows, grows along pond banks, on river sand and shingle shelves and grassy marshes. Species also found as far up as the middle mountain zone. It occurs in damp, loam and clay, sandy and saline soils. It is spring frost resistant and flood resistant.

Economic value.

Forage, for pasture and haying use. It re-grows fast after intensive grazing by cattle and haying, provides early green forage in pastures and high paying harvests. It is resistant to trampling and high feeding. It is decorative, used for establishing small recreation areas.

Reference citations:

Cherepanov S.K. 1988. Plantae Vasculares Rossicae et Civitatum Collimitanearum (in limics USSR olim)[List of Vascular Plants of Russia]. St. Petersburg: Mir I Semia. 990 pp. (In Russian)
Gubanov I.A., Kiseleva K.V., Novikov V.S., Tychomirov V.N. 2002. Illustrated determinant of plants of Middle Russia. Moscow. V. 1: 526. (In Russian)
KHarkevich S.S., ed. 1982. Wild fodder grass of Far East. Moscow: Nauka. 240 pp. (In Russian)
Kovalevskaja S.S., ed. 1968. Conspect of Middle Asia Flora. Taschkent: Publishing House Acad. Sci. Uzbekistan SSR. V. 1: 226. (In Russian)
Tzvelev N.N. 1964. Arctic flora USSR. Number 2. Moscow-Leningrad: Nauka. 273 pp. (In Russian)
Tzvelev N.N. 1976. Poaceae USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 788 pp. (In Russian)

© Funtova V.G.


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