Scientific Name:
Cynosurus cristatus L., Sp. Pl. 72 (1753)
Vernacular Name(s):
crested dogstail; Crested dog's-tail

Compactly tufted perennials, 10–75–(85) cm. Leaf-sheath sub-coriaceous, smooth below, minutely scabrid and keeled above near ligule. Ligule 0.4–1.8 mm, truncate, erose to ciliate. Leaf-blade (2.5)–7–24 cm × 1–4 mm, glabrous, or adaxially with minute prickle-teeth or hairs; margins glabrous, narrowed to long, scabrid, acuminate tip. Culm 2–70 cm, erect, internodes glabrous. Panicle 2–10–(15) cm, to 12 mm wide but usually quite narrow, secund, linear, spike-like, stiff, narrow-oblong, erect or slightly curved; rachis and very short branches with minute prickle-teeth or hairs. ☿ and Ø spikelets mixed together in dense clusters, green to purplish; occasionally proliferous: Ø spikelets 3.3–5.5 mm, persistent, ovate, flattened, of 7–10 acute to acuminate narrow bracts, 2.5–3.8 mm, 1-nerved, scabrid on nerve, margins hyaline; ☿ spikelets 4–6 mm, 2–5-flowered, elliptic-oblong. Glumes persistent, ± equal, 3–4 mm, 1-nerved, hyaline, midnerve scabrid above. Lemma 3–4 mm, faintly 5-nerved, scabrid above, subcoriaceous with very narrow hyaline margin; awn minute, 0.4–1 mm. Palea 2.5–3.5 mm, hyaline, keels minutely scabrid, interkeel papillose. Anthers 1–2.5 mm, purple or yellow. Caryopsis 1.4–2 × 0.6–0.7 mm.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]

Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.