Cynosurus cristatus L.
crested dogtail (crested dogstail grass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #4098)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Cynosurus cristatus
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Species Information

Perennial tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, erect, 40-80 cm tall.
Sheaths open, the upper usually smooth, the lower often short-hairy, the hairs angled downwards; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, flat to folded; ligules about 1 (0.8-1.5) mm long, membranous, smooth, the tips blunt and straight, the margins finely jagged and fringed with short hairs.
Inflorescence a much contracted, erect, somewhat curved, spikelike panicle 3-8 cm long, with the flowers and branches borne on one side of the axis; spikelets borne mostly in pairs on very short branches, the pairs each with 1 spikelet fertile, unstalked, the other sterile, 4-5 mm long, short-stalked, much flattened and fanlike, consisting of glumes and 7 to 9 sterile (empty) lemmas; glumes of the fertile spikelets 2.5-3.5 mm long, nearly equal, strongly keeled, rough, the margins broad, membranous and small-toothed, the glumes of the sterile spikelets flattened, somewhat narrower than, but otherwise similar to the sterile lemmas; fertile lemmas about 4 mm long, rounded, rough, the awn tips about 0.5 mm long; lodicules about 0.5 mm long; anthers about 3 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Dry to mesic fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent on S Vancouver Island, infrequent in SW (Vancouver area), SC and SE BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia