Orange Foxtail - Alopecurus aequalis

Alternative names
Shortawn Foxtail

Often decumbent, it has 'kneed' L shaped stems that grow parallel to the ground before turning upwards. The lemma has a very short awn that is included in the glumes or very slightly protruding.  Anthers are bright orange.

Similar Species

Marsh Foxtail has longer awns which are sometimes bent and the anthers are not such a vivid orange colour.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Detailed photographs required showing awns and anthers if in flower.


Most frequent on drying mud but found in a wide variety of habitats associated with freshwater, including the margins of ponds, ditches, reservoirs and flooded gravel-pits. It has also recently been found as a weed in aquatic garden centres.

When to see it

Flowering June to September.

Life History


UK Status

It seems to be fairly widespread in England, but less frequently recorded elsewhere in Britain.

VC55 Status

Scarce or under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map