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

Cynosurus echinatus L.
hedgehog dogtail (bristly dogstail grass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4124)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Cynosurus echinatus
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Species Information

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Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, erect, (10) 20-50 cm tall.
Sheaths open, inflated; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, flat, more or less rough, the margins freed from the sheaths at different levels; ligules 2-7 (11) mm long, prominent, membranous, blunt, the margins coarsely jagged to toothed.
Inflorescence a dense, erect, bristly, egg-shaped, panicle 1-4 cm long; spikelets borne mostly in pairs on very short branches, the pairs each with 1 spikelet fertile, 2-flowered, the upper flowers sometimes reduced to tiny rudiments, unstalked, the other sterile, 4-5 mm long, short-stalked, much flattened and fanlike, consisting of glumes and several sterile (empty) lemmas, the lemmas similar to the glumes; glumes of the fertile spikelets 5-6 mm long, nearly equal, strongly keeled, flattened, awned, the awns 1-2.5 mm long, the glumes of the sterile spikelets keeled, fringed with short hairs, long-pointed; fertile lemmas about 5 mm long, rounded on the back, awned, the awns 3-10 mm long; lodicules about 0.2 mm long; anthers about 2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic sandy shores, Garry oak woodlands, grassy rock outcrops and disturbed sites in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SW BC, rare in SE BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cynosurus echinatus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 27 153 280
Slope Gradient (%) 0 42 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
38 213 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(22)


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 cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References