Phleum arenarium L.
Sp.Pl. 1:60 (1753)

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

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Thursday 26 May 1994

Grass-like or herb.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Perth, Warren.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Augusta Margaret River, Harvey.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

Alternative Names. Sea Timothy grass, sand cat's tail.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, water. Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Seedbank persistence. 1-7 years.

Notes. Shows considerable phenotypic plasticity, especially in height, number of tillers and number of spikelets per infloresence. Occurs naturally in open habitats, particularly on free-draining sands poor in nitrogen and phosphorous and rich in calcium. Sensitive to shade. Seedlings are highly sensitive to drought.

Additional information. Origin. United Kingdom, Mediterranean.

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 Y Y  
Germination         O Y              
Flowering                 Y Y Y    
Fruiting                     Y Y  

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



  • 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.
  • Ernst, W.H.O. (1983) Adaptation strategy of annual dune plants. Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft fur Okologie, 10: 485-495.
  • Ernst, W.H.O. (1983) Element nutrition of two contrasted dune annuals. 71: 197-209.
  • Ernst, W.H.O. & Malloch, A.J.C. (1994) Biological Flora of the British Isles - Phleum arenarium L. (Phleum arenarium Willd.; Chilochloa arenaria P. Beauv.). Journal of Ecology, 82: 403-413.
  • 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.
  • Langhansa, T.M., Storma, C. & Schwabe, A. (2009) Biological soil crusts and their microenvironment: Impact on emergence, survival and establishment of seedlings. Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants, 204 (2): 157-168.
  • Law, R. & Watkinson, A.R. (1987) Response-surface analysis of two-species competition: An experiment on Phleum arenarium and Vulpia fasciculata. Journal of Ecology, 75 (3): 871-886.
  • Silvertown, J.W. (1984) Phenotypic variety in seed germination behaviour: the ontogeny and evolution of somatic polymorphism in seeds. The American Naturalist, 124 (1): 1-16.

Project information and acknowledgements