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

Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C. Gmel.
rattail fescue (rat-tail fescue)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23953)

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Distribution of Vulpia myuros
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Species Information

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Annual, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems sometimes solitary, erect (sometimes bent or angled at the lower nodes), (5) 10-60 (90) cm tall.
Sheaths all smooth or the lower ones hairy; blades rolled or sometimes flat, usually smooth or short-hairy on top, 0.5-3 mm wide; ligules 0.2-0.6 mm long.
Inflorescence an erect panicle (sometimes reduced to a raceme), (3) 5-18 (25) cm long, often partly enclosed by the sheaths at maturity; spikelets 5.5-12 mm long (excluding the awns), 3- to 5- (8- ) flowered; glumes smooth or short-hairy, the lower glumes smooth, 1-nerved, often greatly reduced, scale-like, 0.2-1.5 (2.5) mm long, the upper glumes 1- to 3-nerved, 2.5-5.5 mm long; lemmas smooth or hairy toward the tips, lanceolate, 4.5-7.5 mm long, the terminal awns (5) 8-15 (22) mm long; anthers 1 (rarely 2 or 3), 0.5-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields, open areas, rocky ground, roadsides and waste areas in the lowland zone; common in SW BC; introduced from Eurasia and N Africa.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vulpia myuros

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) 90 248 519
Slope Gradient (%) 0 34 84
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 173 200
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
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(3), IDF(1)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Festuca megalura
Festuca megalura var. hirsuta (Hack.) Aschers. & Graebn.
Festuca myuros
Vulpia megalura (Nutt.) Rydb.
Vulpia myuros var. hirsuta
Vulpia myuros var. myuros

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References