Alopecurus geniculatus L.

Marsh Fox-tail

Sp. Pl. 60 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tufted perennial or annual, culms decumbent, commonly rooting at nodes, finally ascending, to 50 cm long. Leaves glabrous, virtually smooth; blade to 15 cm long and (2–)4–8 mm wide; ligule acute to obtuse, membranous, 1–5 mm long. Inflorescence a spike-like panicle, 2–6(–8) cm long, 4–6 mm wide; glumes 2–3.5 mm long, obtuse, hyaline at apex, connate only at base, hairy along keel and margins; lemma subequal to glumes, obtuse, glabrous, shining brown at maturity, margins usually free, occasionally connate in lower 1–1.5 mm; awn 3–7 mm long, geniculate, inserted about one-quarter above base of lemma; palea absent. Anthers 0.7–1.8 mm long. Flowers Aug.–Dec.

*CVU, *DunT, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to much of the Northern Hemisphere and introduced throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere. In Victoria, a widespread species of wet or low-lying, open sites, particularly in the west, occasionally growing partly submerged and then the stems commonly long and rooting freely from nodes.

Alopecurus australis was described as an indigenous Australian species, but it is generally agreed that the plant represented by that name is not specifically distinct from A. geniculatus and was an early introduction into this country.

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 geniculatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Alopecurus geniculatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present introduced
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present introduced
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory