Shortawn Foxtail(Alopecurus aequalis)

BotanicalName: Alopecurus aequalis
Family : Gramineae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus : Alopecurus
Synonyms : Alopecurus fulvus – Sm.
Common names: Short Awned Foxtail, Sonoma Alopecurus, Water Foxtail, short awn foxtail, shortawn foxtail
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Species: A. aequalis

Habitat :  It is native to much of the temperate Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America, where it can be found in many types of habitat.   Much of Europe, including Britain, to N. Asia. Wet meadows and the edges of ponds and ditches .Meadow; Bog Garden;


Description:

Alopecurus aequalis, a monocot, is a perennial herb . It produces bunches of erect stems between 10 and about 70 centimeters in height. The leaves are short, rarely exceeding 10 centimeters long. The cylindrical inflorescence is a few centimeters long and blooms with white to yellow to bright orange anthers.
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It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation :
See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs. This species is a weed of cultivated cereals and can harbour pests common to cultivated crops.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ in April and only just covering it.

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Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seed.

Seed – cooked. It can be used whole like millet, but is more usually ground into a flour and used with other cereals in making bread etc. The seed is small and fiddly, it is very much a famine food.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Antiphlogistic; Depurative; Diuretic.

The whole plant is antiphlogistic, depurative and diuretic. It is used in the treatment of oedema, chickenpox and snakebites.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Alopecurus+aequalis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alopecurus_aequalis
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=1800
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=256

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