Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Introduced

Tufted glabrous annuals or, rarely, perennials. Leaf-blades flat, inrolled when dry; ligules short, truncate, membranous. Inflorescence a panicle or rarely a raceme, usually more or less one-sided. Spikelets 3–12-flowered, laterally compressed; glumes unequal, the smaller, lower one 0–1-nerved, the upper 1–3-nerved, persistent; lemma 3–5-nerved, rounded dorsally, tapered gradually into a long, straight awn; palea subequal to body of lemma.

About 23 species, from temperate areas of Europe, Africa and the Americas; 5 naturalised in Australia, all in Victoria.

The relative lengths of the glumes can vary within an inflorescence. Cope & Gray (2009) point out that care must be taken to avoid measuring glumes from spikelets that are terminal on the inflorescence or branches as they tend to be atypical.

Molecular studies (e.g. Catalan et al. 2004) suggest this and some other genera (e.g. Lolium, Psilurus) are nested within Festuca but they are currently retained as distinct in Australia.

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, 2016-08-18

Catalan, P.; Torrecilla, P.; Lopez Rodriguez, J.A. & Olmstead, R.G. (2004). Phylogeny of the festucoid grasses of subtribe Loliinae and allies (Poeae, Pooideae) inferred from ITS and trn L–F sequences., Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 517–541.

Cope, T. & Gray, A. (2009). Grasses of the British Isles, Botanical Society of the British Isles , London.

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life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
Higher taxa
genus Vulpia
Subordinate taxa