Page author: Don Knoke
Cynosurus cristatus
crested dogtail

Distribution: Introduced in scattered locations west of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, and in California and Idaho.

Habitat: Waste places, old meadows, roadsides.

Flowers: June - July

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial, the erect culms 4-8 dm. tall.


Sheaths open, the upper glabrous, the lower puberulent; ligules about 1 mm. long, truncate, glabrous; blades flat to folded, 1.5-2.5 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a one-sided, spike-like panicle 3-8 cm. long and less than 1 cm. thick; spikelets in pairs on very short branches, one spikelet fertile and sessile, the other short-pedicellate and sterile; sterile spikelet flattened and fan-like, 4-5 mm. long, consisting of glumes and 7-9 empty lemmas; fertile spikelet has glumes 2.5-3.5 mm. long, keeled and scabrous, with serrulate margins; lemmas somewhat lopsided, rounded, about 4 mm. long, scabrous, with an awn tip about 0.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Cynosurus cristatus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 72. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cynosurus cristatus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Cynosurus cristatus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Cynosurus cristatus information.

E-Flora BC: Cynosurus cristatus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Cynosurus cristatus photos.

USDA Plants: Cynosurus cristatus information.

5 photographs:
Group by