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Max Licher @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Alopecurus aequalis - shortawn foxtail
Other Common Names: orange foxtail

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Max Licher @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Grows in wet meadows, forest openings, shores, springs, and along streams, as well as in ditches, along roadsides, and in other disturbed sites from sea level to sub alpine elevations.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 8000 feet

Similar Species: Phleum pratense

General Description

Desc: This perennial grass is 3/4 to 1-1/2 feet tall, consisting of a flowering stem with several alternate leaves. Each stem terminates in a slender cylindrical seedhead that is 1 to 3 inches long.
Identification notes: Flat blades. Awns straight, not exceeding the glumes. Alopecurus aequalis can be distinguished from other Alopecurus spp. by its short awns, which extend no more than about 1 mm from the tips of its 1-flowered spikelets.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Apr - May

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: The single-flowered spikelets are densely compressed along the entire length of each seedhead; they are overlapping, ascending and soft. Spikelets are all alike and fertile. Flowers in bloom have white to yellow to bright orange anthers.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: The leaf blades are flat, slender and 1-1/2 to 5 inches long. They are ascending to widely spreading. The upper and lower blade surfaces are medium green to grayish-green and smooth. Leaf sheaths loosely clasp the upright stems.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: The ligules are white and membranous, while the nodes are dark-colored and hairless.

Forage Value: The foliage is browsed when young, but becomes less palatable as it matures. Nutritive value is poor.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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