Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. Slender Foxtail
Fl.Angl. 23-24 (1762)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Wednesday 25 May 1994

Annual, grass-like or herb, 0.15-0.6 m high. Fl. green, Sep to Dec or Jan. Sand.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P2, Perth.

IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Belmont, Busselton, Northam.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 11 April 2019

Alternative Names. Blackgrass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Mammals, agricultural harvesting equipment, soil movement. Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Seedbank persistence. Medium, 4 to 9 years. Fire response. Seed on the soil surface is killed by fire, while seed covered by shallow soil is protected and stimulated to germinate.

Notes. One of the most important grass weeds in winter cereal production in Europe and is common on cultivated ground, although uncommon in bushland. Can produce prolific seed. Prefers moist soils. Responds positively to higher nitrogen levels by increased tillers and greater seed production. Germination can vary seasonally and is stimulated by light. Herbicide resistance has been recorded.

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean, temperate Asia. History of use/introduction. Unknown. Similar exotic species. Alopecurus pratensis.

Suggested method of management and control. A combination of cultural and herbicide control is recommended. Hand remove small infestations of mature plants, ensuring all plant parts are removed. Try careful application of 1% glyphosate on seedlings. Early application of glyphosate while actively growing or at the start of flowering will reduce seed set. Late spraying toward the end of flowering and/or mowing does not prevent seed set. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth         O Y Y Y Y Y      
Germination         O Y Y            
Flowering               O Y Y   O  
Optimum Treatment           Y Y Y          

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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  • Adkins, S.W. & Peters, N.C.B. (2001) Smoke derived from burnt vegetation stimulates germination of arable weeds. Seed Science Research, 11 (3): 213-222.
  • Andersson, L. & Akerblom Espeby, L. (2008) Variation in seed dormancy and light sensitivity in Alopecurus myosuroides and Apera spica-venti. Weed Research, 49: 261-270.
  • Baskin, C.C. & Baskin, J.M. (1998) Ecology of seed dormancy and germination in grasses. In Population biology of grasses (ed. G.P. Cheplick) . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Benson, D. & McDougall, L. (2002) Ecology of Sydney Plant Species Part 9: Monocotyledon families Agavaceae to Juncaginaceae. Cunninghamia, 7 (4): 695-730.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Carr, G.W., Yugovic, J.V. & Robinson, K.E. (1992) Environmental weed invasions in Victoria. Department of Conservation and Environment, Melbourne.
  • Dalbies-Dulout, A. & Dore, T. (2001) Management of infloresence and viable seed production of blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) on set-aside in France. Crop Protection, 20 (3): 221-227.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moss, S.R. (1980) Some effects of burning cereal straw on seed viability, seedling establishment and control of Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. Weed Research, 20: 271-276.
  • Moss, S.R., Perryman, S.A.M & Tatnell, L.V. (2007) Managing herbicide-resistant blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides): theory and practice. Weed Technology, 21 (2): 300-309.
  • Naylor, R. E (1972) Aspects of the population dynamics of the weed Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. in winter cereal crops. Journal of Applied Ecology, 9 (1): 127-139.
  • Vizantinopoulos, S. & Katranis, N. (1998) Management of blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) in winter wheat in Greece. Weed Technology, 12 (3): 484-490.

Project information and acknowledgements