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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



William J. Crins

Annual, perennial herb, cespitose or from stolons. Stem: decumbent to erect, 1–8 dm; nodes visible, brown. Leaf: ligule 1–6 mm, membranous, truncate to acute, generally scabrous; blade flat, glabrous or scabrous. Inflorescence: panicle-like, generally cylindric, dense; branches short. Spikelet: ± laterally compressed, breaking below glumes, falling as 1 unit; glumes ± equal, generally = spikelet, membranous, generally keeled, keel and lateral veins generally stiff- or appressed-hairy, margins free or fused near base, tip obtuse, acute, or short-awned, 3-veined; floret 1; lemma membranous, margins keeled, sometimes fused near base, truncate to acute, 3–5-veined, awned on back below middle, awn straight or abruptly bent generally at lemma tip; palea generally 0; anthers 0.5–4 mm. Fruit: glabrous.
36 species: temperate North America, Eurasia. (Greek: fox tail) [Crins 2007 FNANM 24:780–788]
Unabridged references: [Rubtzoff 1961 Leafl W Bot 9:165–180]

Key to Alopecurus

1. Spikelets except awns > 4 mm

2. Perennial herb; stem generally > 4.5 dm; glumes, lemma acute ..... A. pratensis

2' Annual; stem generally < 4.5 dm; glumes, lemma acute or obtuse

3. Glumes ciliate on keel near base, glabrous on lateral veins, winged and appearing asymmetrical; anthers > 3.5 mm; inflorescence generally > 7 cm, tapered at both ends; leaf sheaths not inflated ..... A. myosuroides

3' Glumes ciliate on all veins, not winged; anthers < 1.5 mm; inflorescence < 6.5 cm, not tapered; upper leaf sheaths conspicuously inflated ..... A. saccatus (2)

1' Spikelets except awns < 4 mm

4. Awn straight, > lemma by 0–2 mm; perennial herb ..... A. aequalis

5. Inflorescence 3–6 mm wide; glumes 1.8–3 mm; awn > lemma by < 1 mm; anthers 0.5–0.9 mm ..... var. aequalis

5' Inflorescence 4–9 mm wide; glumes 2.7–3.7 mm; awn > lemma by 1–2.5 mm; anthers 0.7–1.2 mm ..... var. sonomensis

4' Awn bent, > lemma by 1.5–5 mm; perennial herb or annual

6. Spikelets > 3 mm; upper leaf sheath conspicuously inflated; awn > lemma by 3–5 mm ..... A. saccatus (2)

6' Spikelets generally < 3 mm; upper leaf sheath not inflated; awn > lemma by 1.5–3.5 mm

7. Annual; anthers < 1 mm ..... A. carolinianus

7' Perennial herb; anthers 1.2–2 mm ..... A. geniculatus


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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