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Foxtail grass
Alopecurus myosuroides1.jpg
Slender meadow foxtail
(Alopecurus myosuroides)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Tribe: Poeae
Genus: Alopecurus
Type species
Alopecurus pratensis
meadow foxtail
(Alopecurus pratensis) [5]

Alopecurus, or foxtail grass, ('alopex' = fox, 'urus' = tail) is a common and widespread genus of plants in the grass family. It is common across temperate and subtropical parts of Eurasia, northern Africa, and the Americas, as well as naturalized in Australia and on various islands.[6]

Foxtails can be annual or perennial. They grow in tufts. They have flat leaves and blunt ligules (a small flap at the junction of leaf and stem). Their inflorescence is a dense panicle (a branching head without terminal flower) with 1-flowered spikelets. A few, particularly A. myosuroides, are considered weeds, others are very decorative and are used in bouquets of dried flowers.

  1. Alopecurus aequalis – Orange foxtail, shortawn foxtail - Eurasia, Americas
  2. Alopecurus albovii - Caucasus
  3. Alopecurus anatolicus - eastern Turkey
  4. Alopecurus apiatus - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran
  5. Alopecurus arundinaceus – Reed foxtail, creeping foxtail, creeping meadow foxtail - Eurasia, North Africa
  6. Alopecurus aucheri - Caucasus, Turkey, Iran
  7. Alopecurus baptarrhenius - Ethiopia
  8. Alopecurus bonariensis - Argentina, Uruguay
  9. Alopecurus borii - Turkmenistan
  10. Alopecurus bornmuelleri - Palestine
  11. Alopecurus brachystachus - Russia, China, Mongolia
  12. Alopecurus bulbosus – Bulbous foxtail - Mediterranean, western Europe
  13. Alopecurus carolinianus – tufted meadow foxtail - USA, western Canada
  14. Alopecurus creticus - Greece, Turkey, Balkans
  15. Alopecurus dasyanthus - Caucasus, Iran
  16. Alopecurus davisii - Samos Island in Greece
  17. Alopecurus geniculatus – Bent foxtail, marsh meadow foxtail - Algeria, Eurasia
  18. Alopecurus gerardii - Mediterranean
  19. Alopecurus glacialis - Caucasus, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan
  20. Alopecurus × haussknechtianus - central + northwestern Europe
  21. Alopecurus heliochloides - Chile
  22. Alopecurus himalaicus - Himalayas, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, Xinjiang
  23. Alopecurus hitchcockii - Peru, Bolivia, Jujuy
  24. Alopecurus japonicus - China, Japan, Korea
  25. Alopecurus laguroides - Caucasus, Turkey
  26. Alopecurus lanatus - Turkey
  27. Alopecurus longiaristatus - Heilongjiang, Primorye, Khabarovsk
  28. Alopecurus magellanicus - northern Eurasia, North + South America, Falkland Is, South Georgia
  29. Alopecurus × marssonii - Ukraine
  30. Alopecurus mucronatus - Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan
  31. Alopecurus myosuroides – Slender meadow foxtail, black grass, twitch grass, black twitch - Eurasia, North Africa
  32. Alopecurus nepalensis - Himalayas, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
  33. Alopecurus × plettkei - France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
  34. Alopecurus ponticus - Caucasus
  35. Alopecurus pratensismeadow foxtail - Eurasia from Azores to Mongolia
  36. Alopecurus rendlei - central + southern Europe, Algeria, Libya, Turkey
  37. Alopecurus saccatus – Pacific foxtail - United States (WA OR ID CA), Baja California
  38. Alopecurus setarioides - France, Greece, Italy, Balkans, Turkey
  39. Alopecurus textilis - Turkey, Caucasus, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan
  40. Alopecurus turczaninovii - Siberia
  41. Alopecurus × turicensis - France, Switzerland
  42. Alopecurus utriculatus - Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine
  43. Alopecurus vaginatus - Crimea, Caucasus, Turkey, Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan
  44. Alopecurus × winklerianus - France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland
formerly included[4]

Numerous species once considered part of Alopecurus but now regarded as better suited to other genera: Agrostis Chaetopogon Cornucopiae Crypsis Koeleria Milium Muhlenbergia Pennisetum Perotis Phleum Polypogon Rostraria Setaria Tribolium

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 60-61 in Latin
  2. ^ lectotype designated by Cope, Regnum Veg. 127: 17 (1993)
  3. ^ Tropicos, Alopecurus L.
  4. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  5. ^ illustration from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885
  6. ^ Watson L, Dallwitz MJ. (2008). "The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references". The Grass Genera of the World. Retrieved 2009-08-19.

External links[edit]