Cynosurus is from the Greek kynos meaning dog and oura meaning tail and refers to the seed head that looks like a dog's tail.
Rough Dogstail - because the seed head is rough to touch and its shape resembles a dogs tail.
A few stemmed, tufted, hairless annual grass with a one sided, dog tail like, seed head and loose sheaths with a large ligule.
Emerging leaf rolled in the bud.
Blade - Flat, 40-400 mm long by 3-12 mm wide, parallel sided, rough along ribs. Hairless.
Ligule - 6-12 mm long, membranous, flat topped, triangular.
Auricles - None.
Sheath - Upper portion slightly inflated and loose. Striped.
Stem leaves -
Few, tufted, erect or curving upwards. Occasionally kneed at the nodes and branching. Hairless.
One sided, oval to oblong, spike like panicle, 10-80 mm long by 10-20 mm wide, dense very bristly. Composed of very short branches containing dense clusters of fertile and sterile spikelets.
Spikelets - Nearly stalkless, not in neat clusters. Upper spikelet on each branch is fertile, lower ones are sterile. Fertile ones, 8-14 mm long with 2-5 bisexual, rough-awned florets, surrounded by sterile spikelets that are, 3-17 mm long, egg shaped, flattened, persistent, made up of up to 18 rigid, spear shaped, shortly awned glumes up to 8 mm long, and lemmas in 2 opposite rows.
Florets - 2-5 per fertile spikelet.
Glumes - 1 nerved, 7-12.5 mm long. Glumes of fertile spikelet are thin, membranous, almost equal length, keeled and finely pointed with the nerve projecting as a fine mucro or short awn.
Lemma - lemmas of fertile florets are narrowly egg shaped, hairy and 2 toothed at the top, 5 nerved, leathery, cylindrical, 5-7 mm long, with a straight, rigid, rough awn at least twice as long at 6-18 mm.
Breaks above the glumes and between the florets.
Oval to oblong seed head, 15-60 mm long and more than 10 mm wide
October to January in SA.
November and December in Perth.
Spring to early summer in WA.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by seed.
Origin and History:
Europe and western Asia.
Naturalised in temperate Australia
ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Weed of vegetables, rotation crops, perennial crops, roadsides, waterways and disturbed areas.
Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:
Crested Dogstail (Cynosurus cristatus) a perennial species was introduced as a pasture grass. It has shorter awns.
Plants of similar appearance:
Briza, Fescues, Puccinellia, Bromes, Ryegrass, Poa, and Vulpia.
Black, J.M. (1978). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P144. Diagram.
Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P24.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #430.2.
Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P950.
Paterson, J.G. (1977). Grasses in South Western Australia. (Western Australian Department of Agriculture Bulletin 4007). P41. Diagrams.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.