E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4098)

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Distribution of Cynosurus cristatus
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References