Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Alopecurus geniculatus
water foxtail

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Atlantic Coast in Canada.

Habitat: Wet places, often in standing water.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Tufted perennials, the culms 3-5 dm. tall, erect.


Sheaths open; ligules 3-5 mm. long, the tip narrow and toothed; blades flat, 2-6 mm. broad, strongly scabrous on the lower surface.


Inflorescence a pale green to purplish, spike-like panicle 2-7 cm. long; spikelets 1-flowered; articulation below the glumes; glumes about 2 mm. long, with hairs on the keel, and silky-pubescent on the back, fused for 0.5 mm, the tips obtuse and transparent; lemmas subequal to the glumes, the margins fused to below mid-length, with an awn attached about 0.5 mm. above the base; awn 4-5 mm. long, stout, twisted and bent; paleas and lodicules lacking.



Accepted Name:
Alopecurus geniculatus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 60. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Alopecurus pallescens Piper
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Alopecurus geniculatus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Alopecurus geniculatus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Alopecurus geniculatus information

E-Flora BC: Alopecurus geniculatus atlas page

CalPhotos: Alopecurus geniculatus photos

19 photographs:
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