Alopecurus pratensis

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Alopecurus pratensis L.

Poaceae

Life form: grass
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   5

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: not specified
Fruit: caryopsis

3A / f8da21 

Inflorescence: spike

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Commelinidae
Superordo:
Poanae
Ordo:
Poales

Alopecurus pratensis, commonly known as meadow foxtail, is a grass.

Naming

Alopecurus pratensis was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Alopecurus pratensis is a species in the genus Alopecurus which contains approximately 52 to 74 species and belongs to the family of the Poaceae (Grass Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The comparatively fast-growing and long-lived grasses have a erect habit and reach heights of 15 to 100 centimetres. They spread slowly, the main growing season is in spring and summer.

Leaves

Alopecurus pratensis is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are linear with entire margins and parallel venation. The foliage is dense in summer and porous in winter.

Flowers and Fruits

Alopecurus pratensis produces spikes of yellow flowers from May to July.

The grasses produce an abundance of brown caryopses from spring to summer.

Root System

The plants produce rhizomes which give rise to vegetative spread.

Distribution

Alopecurus pratensis is native to the whole of Europe, the Caucasus, West-Siberia, East Siberia and Central Asia and is naturalized in North America.

Cultivation

The grasses prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy and comparatively rich with a pH between 5,8 and 8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 30 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -29°C (USDA zone 5) and need a frost-free period of at least 13 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: anaerobic soil
  • low: soil salinity, drought
  • high: calcareous soil

Uses

Maintenance and Propagation

Propagate by sowing.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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