Phleum alpinum L. - Alpine timothy.

Taxonomic position.

Family Poaceae Barnhart., genus Phleum L.


Phleum commutatum Gaudich. Alpine cat.s tail.

Biology and morphology.

Perennial plant, small in size, hairless, cespitous, glaucous. Stems erect, 10-30 cm tall, without bulb at the base. Blade rolled when young, short, 4-7 mm in width, glabrous; sheathes of upper leaves lilac green, tumefied. Spike is 10.0-30.0 mm long and 8.0-10.0 mm in width, compact, short-cylindrical. Spikelets mono-floral. Glumes are 3.0-4.0 mm long with cuniform awns. Lemma half the length of the glume with long, tudinal ribs. Anthers are 1.0 mm long. Blossoms in June; seeds ripen in August. Cross-pollinated by wind. Chromosome number: 2n = 14, 28.


Distributed throughout the Arctic and northern parts of European Russia, the Northern and Middle Urals, the Carpathian and Caucasian Mountains, the mountains of Western Siberia (Altai) and Eastern Siberia (Putorana Plateau, Western Sayan), the mountains of Central Asia and the Far East.


Psychromesophyte, adapted to boreal and mountain climates. Occurs in alpine and sub-alpine meadows, on tundra, in the forest zone, along seashores and riversides, and on stony slopes close to water. Occurs in poor soils as high as the middle mountain belt.

Utilization and economic value.

One of the best pasture plants of mountain meadows. Good palatability for cattle, sheep, goats and horses.

Literature cited:

Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1980. Wild relatives of the cultivated plants of flora of the USSR. L.: Kolos, 376 pp. (in Russian).
Fedorov A.A., ed. 1974. Flora of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 1. L.: Nauka, 404 pp. (in Russian).
Grossheim A.A. 1939. Flora of the Caucasus. Vol. 2. Baku: AzFAN, pp. 587. (in Russian).
Harkevich S.S., ed. 1985. Vascular Plants of the Soviet Far East. Vol. 1. St. Petersburg: Nauka, 390 p. (in Russian).
Hulten E., Fries M. 1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. Vol. 1-3. Konigstein, 1172 pp.
Kovalevskaja S.S., ed. 1968. Conspect of Middle Asian Flora. Vol. 1. Taschkent: AN Uzbekistan SSR, 226 pp. (in Russian).
Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G.A., eds. 1990. Flora of Siberia. Vol. 2. Novosibirsk: Nauka, 361 pp. (in Russian).
Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G.A., eds. 1979. Flora of Central Siberia. Vol. 1. Novosibirsk: Nauka, 536 pp. (in Russian).
Rodjevitz P.U., Schischkin V.K., eds. 1937. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 2. M.-L.: USSR, 778 pp. (in Russian).
Shelyag-Sosonko Y.P., ed. 1977. Grasses of Ukraine. Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 518 pp. (in Russian).
Tolmachev A.I., ed. 1964. Arctic flora of the USSR. Vol. 2. M.-L.: Nauka, 273 p. (in Russian).
Tzvelev N.N. 1976. Poaceae USSR. L.: Nauka, 788 pp. (in Russian).

© N.I. Dzyubenko & E.A. Dzyubenko

Copyright on the photos belongs to N.I. Dzyubenko.

Web design —
Kelnik studios