Plants perennial; shortly rhizomatous. Culms 30-110 cm, erect. Ligules 1.5-3 mm, obtuse to truncate; blades 6-40 cm long, 1.9-8 mm wide; upper sheaths not or scarcely inflated. Panicles 3.5-9 cm long, 6-10 mm wide. Glumes 4-6 mm, connate in the lower 1/4, membranous, sides pubescent, keels not winged, finely ciliate, apices acute, parallel or convergent; lemmas 4-6 mm, connate in the lower 1/3, glabrous or the keels sometimes ciliate apically, apices acute, awns 5-10.5 mm, geniculate, exceeding the lemmas by (1)2.2-5.5 mm; anthers 2-4 mm, yellowish, orange, reddish, or purplish, varying within a population. Caryopses about 1-1.2 mm. 2n = 28, 42.
Alopecurus pratensis is native from temperate northern Eurasia south to North Africa. It is now widely naturalized in temperate regions throughout the world. It grows in poorly to somewhat drained soils in meadows, riverbanks, lakesides, ditches, roadsides and fence rows. It has been widely introduced as a pasture grass; it may also have become established from ballast or imported hay. The earliest collections are from coastal New England; it is now known from most provinces and states.
Link to key to species of Alopecurus in North America north of Mexico.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Specimens of this species have been collected in Tippecanoe County, and I have it from Wells County, where it was well established when collected in 1932.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = null, non-native
Wetland Indicator Status: FACW
Diagnostic Traits: Inflorescence densely spike-like; spikelets 1-flowered, flat, >4 mm long; lemmas 5-veined, their awn arising from below middle of lemma and extending more than 3 mm beyond glumes.
Perennial 4-8 dm, erect or decumbent at base; infl 2-8 cm נ5-10 mm, scarcely tapering; glumes acute or subacuminate, connate one-fourth their length, 4-5.5 mm, the keel narrowly winged, conspicuously ciliate, especially above the middle, with hairs 1-1.5 mm; awn attached below midlength of the lemma, geniculate near the top of the lemma and exserted 2.3-6.5 mm; anthers 2.2-3.5 mm; 2n=28, 42. Native of Eurasia, naturalized in moist meadows, fields, and waste places nearly throughout our range, and westward.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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