Alopecurus pratensis L.

Meadow Fox-tail

Sp. Pl. 60 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Rhizomatous perennial, culms erect, to 1 m high. Leaf-blades to 40 cm long and 14 mm wide, finely scabrous; sheaths smooth; ligules obtuse, membranous, to c. 2 mm long, often auriculate at margins. Inflorescence a spike-like panicle, 2–9 cm long, 7–10 mm wide; glumes 3.5–6 mm long, acute, connate in the lower c. 1 mm, hairy along keel and nerves; lemma subequal to glumes, acute, glabrous except near base, margins connate in lower c. one-third; awn (4.5–)6–10(–14) mm long, geniculate, inserted near base of lemma; palea absent. Anthers 2–4 mm long. Flowers Aug.–Feb.

*CVU, *EGL, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised in WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Widespread in Europe and northern Asia where indigenous. A useful pasture grass in areas of moderate to high rainfall, mostly in the southern half of the State, occasionally becoming established on adjoining land. Historically used for soil stabilisation and sometimes persisting on treated road verges.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Alopecurus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Alopecurus pratensis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Alopecurus pratensis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present introduced
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Victorian Alps present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory