Alopecurus aequalisAlopecurus aequalis 2

Pictured above: Alopecurus aequalis

This genus is characterized by dense cylindrical spike-like inflorescences containing 1-flowered spikelets. At maturity the entire spikelet, including glumes, falls from the plant. Glumes are awnless, apically rounded, generally united in their basal portion, strongly keeled, and with cilia on the keel. Lemmas are about as long the glumes and have an awn attached on the back, which extends only slightly beyond the glumes.

There are 3 species in MN; 2 native.     

Common species:

Alopecurus aequalis (al low peh cure' us ee qua' lis)

  • Synonyms: None
  • Common names: short-awn foxtail
  • Origin and habitat: Native; moist habitats, especially along marshy shores
  • Identifying characters: See the generic description.
  • Comments: Similar in appearance to timothy (Phleum pratense) but with a narrower inflorescence and the glumes are rounded at the apex rather than awned as in timothy. Although native, short-awn foxtail seldom forms extensive populations, generally occurring in small patches.


Alopecurus Aequalis Map

Additional Species in Minnesota:
A. carolinianus
A. pratensis


Copyright 2002, A.F. Cholewa, J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota / No portion of this guide may be duplicated without written permission of author.