ALOPECURUS L. Foxtail
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous or stoloniferous, annual or perennial. Culms erect or ascending
or decumbent, glabrous; internodes hollow, terete. Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete,
margins open; auricles absent; ligules membranous; blades flat. Panicles contracted (compact and cylindrical), primary
branches ascending or appressed. Spikelets solitary, laterally compressed, disarticulation below glumes,
awned, pedicellate; florets 1, reduced floret absent, callus glabrous, rachilla not extending above floret;
glumes 3-veined, equal (connate at base), equal or longer than floret, midvein and margins
scabrous to hairy, awnless; lemmas 5-veined, membranous, glabrous, obtuse, dorsally awned from
below mid lemma, awn straight or geniculate; paleas usually absent. Stamen 3. Caryopses laterally compressed with
liquid endosperm. Base chromosome number x=7.
A genus of about 25 species from temperate regions. All of our Alopecurus species are palatable forages for livestock. Many
taxa are important wetland species.