Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C. Gmel.

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Poeae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Festuca megalura Nutt.

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

rattail fescue

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, pedicelled, consisting of 3–10 fertile florets with similar-looking though diminished sterile florets at apex, oblong or cuneate, laterally compressed, 5–12 mm long. Disarticulation below each fertile floret.

Glumes persistent, shorter than spikelet, thinner than lemma, membranous, without keel, surface glabrous. Lower glume linear to lanceolate, (0.5)1–3.5 mm long, 0.15–0.4 length of upper glume, 1-veined, lateral veins absent, apex acute. Upper glume lanceolate, 2.5–5.5(8) mm long, 0.75 length of adjacent fertile lemma, 1–3-veined, apex acuminate.

Fertile florets: rachilla persistent, scaberulous, 0.75–1(1.9) mm long, callus pointed, glabrous.

Lemma lanceolate, 4.5–7.5 mm long, chartaceous, without keel, 5-veined, lateral veins obscure, surface scabrous distally, glabrous except the margins sometimes ciliate, apex acuminate, awn 5–22 mm long.

Palea slightly shorter to slightly longer than lemma, 2-veined, veins ribbed, scaberulous, apex minutely bifid.

Caryopsis narrowly elliptic to linear, 3–5 mm long x 0.4–0.8 mm wide, dark brown, embryo <0.33 length of caryopsis, hilum linear, same length as caryopsis, in deep groove.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)