Cynosurus cristatus L.

Crested Dog's-tail

Sp. Pl. 72 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tufted perennial, culms erect, to 80 cm high. Leaf-blades flat, to 15 cm long and 4 mm wide, minutely scabrous or hairy on the upper surface; ligules blunt, 0.5–1.5 mm long. Panicle spike-like, erect or slightly curved, one-sided, to 8 cm long. Spikelets in dense clusters with 2–5 sterile and fertile spikelets each per cluster; sterile spikelets ovate, flattened, 4–6 mm long, each with 6–18 stiff, narrow, acuminate bracts, 2–5 mm long; fertile spikelets 2–5-flowered, 3–6 mm long; glumes subequal, acuminate, 3–5 mm long; lemmas oblong, 3–4 mm long, scabrous toward apex, usually with a short (to 1 mm) apical awn. Flowers Oct.–Feb.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *GipP, *Gold, *HSF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Indigenous in the Mediterranean region. In Victoria, an occasional weed of pasture, lawns and roadsides in cooler districts (e.g. Portland, Lome, Mt Dandenong, Neerim, Kiewa Valley, Orbost) with an isolated occurrence near Mildura in the north-west, occasionally invading native vegetation.

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, 2019-12-13
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Cynosurus
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

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