Avena muralis Salisb.
Bromus bohemicus F.W.Schmidt ex Mert. & W.D.J.Koch
Distomischus myuros (L.) Dulac
Festuca commutata Steud.
Festuca linearis Gilib.
Festuca megalura Nutt.
Festuca myuros L.
Festuca pseudomyuros Soy.-Will.
Mygalurus caudatus Link
Vulpia bromoides rigida Nees
Vulpia ciliata St.-Lag.
Vulpia crinita Lojac.
Vulpia longivaginata St.-Lag.
Vulpia major (Rohlena) Á.Löve & D.Löve
Vulpia megalura (Nutt.) Rydb.
Vulpia murorum Gray
Vulpia pilosa C.C.Gmel.
Vulpia pseudomyuros (Soy.-Will.) Rchb.
Vulpia reclinata Dumort.
Vulpia vaginata St.-Lag.
Zerna myuros B.D.Jacks.
Common Name: Annual Fescue
Vulpia myuros is an annual grass with one to a few, erect to ascending culms 10 - 70cm tall. On very poor soils the plant may flower and set seed when only 3 - 5cm tall[
The plant is often used to provide cover for the soil and prevent erosion and to revegetate toxic mine-spill sites where very little else will grow.
Vulpia myuros can be very invasive, especially in Mediterranean climates where it outcompetes native species in grasslands and is a significant agricultural weed. It forms dense swards and its shallow roots suppress growth of native grasses and forbs. Establishment of native plants is strongly hindered once it has become dominant; because it is a winter-annual, it grows rapidly in early spring, thus successfully competing with the slower-growing native perennial grasses. It is a problem weed in pastures and in direct-seed cropping systems. Infested hay can cause injury to livestock due to the sharp seeds. Residues of degrading plants affect growth of other species including crops[
]. Like most invasive Mediterranean annual grasses, it has seed appendages that aid in long-distance dispersal. With its long awns, the seed can easily catch on objects and travel long distances. The long seed awns easily catch on hairs or feathers. Animals or water may disperse seed long distances[
Eurasia - Britain to Portugal, east through the Caucasus to C. Asia, through Turkey to the Levant and India; N. Africa - Morocco to Egypt, Ethiopia
Sandy places and on walls[
]. In its native range, the plant commonly grows in dry ruderal sites, on sand and gravel banks, roadsides and embankments, and in old fields, usually on acidic soils[
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Vulpia myuros grows best in a Mediterranean climate with its cool, moist winters and hot, dry summers. However, it is very tolerant and can also succeed in desert climates, continental climates and temperate climates that can be seasonally dry or with all-year round rainfall[
Requires a sunny position. Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soils and moisture levels, but grow best on drier soils, especially disturbed sandy or clay soils[
]. It can tolerate very harsh conditions, growing in very acid conditions as well as on soils of low fertility and also on compacted soils[
Vulpia myuros is used in rehabilitation projects and for ground cover in orchards and vineyards[
It was one of a very few species growing on sulphur mine spoils on a site in California: It was the only plant on some plots. The soils were extremely acidic (pH <4.5) and contained high levels of arsenic and mercury. The plant can be used, especially in the early stage, to reclaim polluted sites - it maintains itself in the early stages of succession, reducing as other plants become able to succeed on the site and eventually disappearing as a tree canopy develops[
It is used as a ground cover in orchards in areas such as Japan and California, especially citrus and almond trees. The benefits of the grass layer include establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizae, suppressed weed growth, protection against soil erosion, and increased supply of organic matter to the soil[
]. It has been shown to increase water penetration in problem orchards in California and to provides a self-perpetuating cover[
The plant has been used to control erosion because it provides a quick cover at low cost whilst perennial plants are establishing[
Seed - sow in situ. It germinates more readily in a light position, so should be either surface sown or only lightly covered. Requires a minimum daytime temperature of 10°c (nighttime 2°c) to germinate, with an optimum temperature around 12 - 23°c[