Scientific Name:
Vulpia bromoides (L.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2, 124 (1821)
  • Festuca bromoides L., Sp. Pl. 75 (1753)
  • = Bromus dertonensis All. (1785)
  • Vulpia dertonensis (All.) Gola (1904)
Vernacular Name(s):
Squirrel-tail fescue; vulpia hair grass

Annual, slender, rather stiff tufts or solitary shoots, 3–60–(80) cm, with panicles usually conspicuously exserted above uppermost leaf-sheath. Leaf-sheath hyaline, glabrous, green to purplish, lower sheaths darker brown with paler ribs. Ligule 0.2–0.5 mm, a membranous, truncate rim. Leaf-blade (1.5)–3–10 cm × 0.8–1.5 mm, flat or involute, abaxially glabrous, adaxially short-ciliate on ribs; margins and acute tip scabrid. Culm 3–40 cm, erect or decumbent at base, internodes glabrous, or sparsely to more densely hairy. Panicle 1.5–12–(17) cm, secund, erect or slightly nodding, lanceolate to narrow-oblong, often rather lax below and with upper branches erect-appressed, sometimes reduced to a single spikelet; rachis, branches and stiff pedicels scabrid on angles. Spikelets (8)–10–20–(25) mm, 5–7-flowered, uppermost 1–2–(3) florets Ø, cuneate or oblong; flowering usually cleistogamous. Glumes very unequal with broad green nerves and hyaline margin, acute to apiculate; lower 2.5–4.2 mm, ½-¾ length of upper, 1-nerved, subulate, smooth, upper 4.7–7.8 mm, 3-nerved, oblong-lanceolate, midnerve scabrid near tip. Lemma 5.5–7.5–(10.5) mm, 5-nerved, firmly membranous, rounded, elliptic-lanceolate, scabrid; awn 4.5–11 mm, fine, minutely scabrid. Palea keels scabrid, interkeel scabrid near apex. Callus glabrous. Rachilla glabrous. Anthers usually 1, rarely 2, (0.2)–0.4–0.6 mm, or 0.8–1.5 mm. Caryopsis (2)–3–4.2 × 0.5 mm.

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

Gray, S.F. 1821: A Natural Arrangement of British Plants . Vol. 2. London.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.