KelsaeJohn's picture

Is this a grass or a reed?

Observed: 1st August 2012 By: KelsaeJohnKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in Plants
Is this a grass or a reed?

On wet area close to river bank

Species interactions

No interactions present.


lavateraguy's picture

reeds are grasses

but this isn't reed (Phragmites australis), or reed (canary) grass (Phalaris arundinacea), or reed sweet grass (Glyceria maxima).

I'd say that it's either meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) or timothy (Phleum pratense agg.). This late the latter is more likely, but there's not enough detail for me to tell.

KelsaeJohn's picture


What would you need to tell the difference? A better picture of the leaves; a measurement perhaps?

lavateraguy's picture

The key in Stace

The key in Stace distinguishes them as the spiklets of Phleum having awnless lemmas and possessing a palea, and those of Alopecurus usually having (shortly) awned lemmas and lacking a palea.

However, the features I use is that Alopecurus has more tapered ends to the spikes, and the spikelets are attached at a more acute angle. (And Alopecurus flowers earlier - this is little overlap in flowering season.) In your photographs the stamens obscure the features that I rely on.