Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. (1798)
Preferred Common Name
- annual beard grass
Other Scientific Names
- Agrostis alopecuroides Lam.
- Agrostis crinita (Schreb.) Moench
- Alopecurus aristatus var. monspeliensis (L.) Huds.
- Alopecurus monspeliensis L. (1753)
- Phalaris aristata Gouan ex P. Beauv.
- Phalaris crinita Forssk.
- Phalaris cristata Forssk
- Phleum crinitum Schreb
- Phleum monospliense (L.) Koeler
- Polypogon crinitus (Schreb.) Nutt
- Polypogon flavescens J. Presl
- Polypogon monspeliensis f. argentinus Hack.
- Polypogon monspeliensis f. nana Stuck.
- Santia monspeliensis (L.) Parl.
International Common Names
- English: Montpelier beardgrass
- Spanish: pajilla; rabo de zorro
- French: polypogon de Montpellier
- Chinese: Chang mang bang tou cao
- Portuguese: rabo-de-zorra-macio
Local Common Names
- Australia: beard grass
- India: Lomar ghas
- USA: annual rabbitsfoot grass; beard grass; rabbitfoot beardgrass; rabbitfoot polypogon; rabbitfoot polypogon; rabbitfootgrass; rabbitsfoot grass; rabbit'sfootgrass; tawny beardgrass
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Polypogon monspeliensis is a grass that is native to parts of Europe, Asia and northern Africa, and has been introduced to North and South America, some countries in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a number of islands. It is considered invasive in parts of its introduced range, such as Australia and the western USA, because it can form dense swards that crowd out native plants and prevent their regeneration (Weber, 2003). It is one of several grasses that invade other vegetation (introduced and native) along waterways, roadsides, grassland, etc., and which displace other species to a greater or lesser extent. It can be an agricultural weed, for example in India where it is considered important.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Poaceae
- Genus: Polypogon
- Species: Polypogon monspeliensis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
This species was named Alopecurus monspeliensis by Linnaeus in 1753 but given its current name, Polypogon monspeliensis, a few years later. A number of other synonuyms have been applied but none are in current use. The specific name derives from Montpellier in France, which is presumably where it was first collected.
DescriptionTop of page
This description of P. monspeliensis is from Clayton et al. (2012):
HABIT: Annual; culms solitary, or caespitose. Culms erect, or decumbent; 6–80 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 3–15 mm long. Leaf-blades 5–20 cm long; 2–8 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous; rough adaxially, or on both sides.
INFLORESCENCE: Inflorescence a panicle.
Panicle spiciform; oblong, or ovate; continuous, or interrupted; 1.5–16 cm long; 1–3.5 cm wide. Panicle branches scabrous.
Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels linear; 0.5 mm long; scabrous.
FERTILE SPIKELETS: Spikelets comprising 1 fertile floret; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; laterally compressed; 2–3 mm long; falling entire. Spikelet callus square; base obtuse.
GLUMES: Glumes similar; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong; 1 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; keeled above; 1 -veined. Lower glume primary vein scabrous. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface asperulous. Lower glume margins ciliolate. Lower glume apex emarginate; awned; 1 -awned. Lower glume awn 4–7 mm long. Upper glume oblong; 2 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; keeled above; 1 -veined. Upper glume primary vein scabrous. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume surface asperulous. Upper glume margins ciliolate. Upper glume apex emarginate; awned; 1 -awned. Upper glume awn 4–7 mm long.
FLORETS: Fertile lemma oblong; 1–1.5 mm long; hyaline; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma lateral veins obscure. Lemma apex dentate; 4 -fid; muticous, or awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; 0–2 mm long overall. Palea 1 length of lemma; hyaline; 2 -veined.
FLOWER: Anthers 3; 0.3–0.5 mm long.
FRUIT: Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; obovoid. Hilum linear.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
Grass / sedge
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|China||Present||Guertin, 2003; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012; PIER, 2012|
|-Anhui||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Fujian||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Gansu||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Guangdong||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Hebei||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Henan||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Jiangsu||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Nei Menggu||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Ningxia||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Qinghai||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Shaanxi||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Shandong||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Shanxi||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Sichuan||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Tibet||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Xinjiang||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Yunnan||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012|
|Georgia (Republic of)||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|-Himachal Pradesh||Present||Native||Shukla, 1996|
|-Jammu and Kashmir||Present||Native||Shukla, 1996|
|-Madhya Pradesh||Present||Native||Shukla, 1996|
|-Tamil Nadu||Present||Native||Shukla, 1996|
|-Uttar Pradesh||Present||Native||Shukla, 1996|
|-West Bengal||Present||Native||Noltie, 2000|
|Pakistan||Present||Native||Invasive||Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012||Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|Taiwan||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||eFloras, 2012b|
|Rodriguez Island||Present||Introduced||PIER, 2012|
|South Africa||Present||Introduced||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|-British Columbia||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-Yukon Territory||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|USA||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-California||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Guertin, 2003; USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-Florida||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USDA-NRCS, 2012||Occasional in Northern Florida|
|-Hawaii||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Wagner et al., 1999; PIER, 2012|
|-New Hampshire||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-New Mexico||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-New York||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-North Dakota||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
|-South Dakota||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2012|
Central America and Caribbean
|Costa Rica||Present||Introduced||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|Belgium||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||National Botanic Garden of Belgium, 2012|
|-Corsica||Present||Native||Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2012|
|Netherlands||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||PIER, 2008|
|Russian Federation||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Southern Russia||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|-Balearic Islands||Present||Native||Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2012|
|UK||Present||Native||Not invasive||Hubbard, 1984||Rather uncommon generally|
|Yugoslavia (former)||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2012|
|Australia||Present||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-New South Wales||Present||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-Queensland||Present||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-South Australia||Present||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-Tasmania||Present||Introduced||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-Victoria||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Queensland Government, 2012|
|-Western Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Queensland Government, 2012|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Edgar and Connor, 2000|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2012|
|US Minor Outlying Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER, 2012||Midway Atoll|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Polypogon monspeliensis is native to parts of Europe, Asia and northern Africa; it was probably carried to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere by colonists from Europe as a contaminant of hay, straw bedding, packing materials, agricultural seed, etc., although it may sometimes have been deliberately carried as seed for planting as an ornamental species (Hubbard, 1984).
It was introduced into California by 1848 (Frenke, 1977in Burgess et al., 1991). It was present in Arizona by 1891 (Toumey in Burgess et al., 1991). The first collection of P. monspeliensis was made at the Desert Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona in 1978 (Turner and Goldberg, in Burgess et al., 1991), and it is described as being local and occasional on moist sites (Burgess et al., 1991) (Guertin, 2003).
In New Zealand Thomson (1922) reported that it was first recorded by Kirk in 1877 and that in 1882 Cheeseman reported it from muddy places on the shores of the Manukau and Waitemata harbours, increasing rapidly. Cheeseman (1906) reported it as abundant in that year on roadsides and in waste places in both islands. In Australia, it was first recorded in ‘North Australia’ in 1802, in Tasmania in 1844 (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2012), and in South Australia in 1851 (Jessop et al., 2006).
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|Arizona||1891||Hitchhiker (pathway cause)||Yes||Guertin (2003)|
|California||1848||Hitchhiker (pathway cause)||Yes||Guertin (2003)|
|New Zealand||1877||Hitchhiker (pathway cause)||Yes||THOMSON (1922)||Wellington|
|South Australia||1851||Hitchhiker (pathway cause)||Yes||Jessop et al. (2006)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
P. monspeliensis already occurs in many countries but could possibly spread still further in some.
HabitatTop of page
In most places, P. monspeliensis tends to prefer wet or damp areas, often close to creeks or streams, especially close to the coast, where it is tolerant of brackish water.
In Britain, the species is describes as a lowland annual of fairly bare places by the sea, in damp, cattle-trodden grazing marshes, at the edges of dried-up brackish pools and ditches, and in the uppermost parts of saltmarshes. It also occurs around docks and inland as a casual from wool, bird-seed and other sources (Biological Records Centre, 2012). Hubbard (1984) described its occurrence as ‘Rather uncommon generally, though sometimes locally abundant, especially on the bare edges of pools, gullies and ditches in maritime grasslands.’
On the North American continent P. monspeliensis occurs around seeps and springs, in salt marshes, around lakes and ponds, streams, saline waste areas and irrigation ditches, and in damp pastures (Darke and Griffiths 1994, Whitson et al. 1992, both in Burgess et al., 1991). It is frequent on moist soil throughout most of Arizona, occurring in river bottoms, swales, streams, and mountain canyons, at elevations of 100- 8200 ft. (30-2500 m) (Parker, 1972, in Guertin, 2003). It also can be present in irrigated sites, cultivated fields, pastures, ditches, and roadsides (Parker, 1972, in Guertin, 2003). In Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, it can become locally common to abundant in low wet places and waterholes, and along washes during exceptionally wet springs (Felger 1990 in Burgess et al., 1991)
In Australia, the species occurs in disturbed and often damp places, including around brackish water (Jessop et al., 2006).
As noted above, the species appears to be tolerant of brackish water. During trials testing growth of marsh plant species at different levels of salinity (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.5, 3.5, and 5.0% NaCl), Partridge and Wilson (1987) found that P. monspeliensis displayed a need of 0.5% salinity to attain maximum growth. A range between 0.5-2.0% salinity included the highest rate of growth, although 2.0% salinity was suitable for plants to reach half maximum growth, and the death of most plants occurred at 3.25% salinity. Kuhn (1997), however, noted that P. monspeliensis plants displayed a sharp decline in growth when salinities were greater than 0 g/litre sea salt.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Cultivated / agricultural land||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Rail / roadsides||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Natural|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Wetlands||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Coastal areas||Principal habitat||Natural|
|Irrigation channels||Principal habitat||Natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
In places where P. monspeliensis occurs, it is often one of a range of grassland species, although it can form fairly pure swards at times. However, it is regarded as being a special threat to some native species in both Australia and the United States.
Jessop et al. (2006) say that, in Australia, it may threaten native herbs. A fact sheet on the species (Queensland Government, 2012) states that in Victoria, it is seen as a serious threat to one or more vegetation formations, and to the endangered turnip copperburr (Sclerolaena napiformis).
On the sites of vernal pools in the Central Valley of California, USA, P. monspeliensis is named as one of several species threatening several plants considered for 'endangered' or 'threatened' status, specifically Orcuttia inaequalis, Orcuttia pilosa, and Tuctoria greenei (Federal Register 1997, reported in Guertin, 2003).
P. monspeliensis occurs as a minor weed of wheat in Pakistan (Ashiq et al., 2006); it has been recorded as a dominant grass species in wheat in Egypt (Tagour, 2011), and in India, it is regarded as one of several predominant weeds (KrishiSewa.com, 2012).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Triticum aestivum (wheat)||Poaceae||Other|
Growth StagesTop of page Vegetative growing stage
Biology and EcologyTop of page
According to Barkworth (2007), 2n = 14, 28, 35, 42, although elsewhere it is often reported as 2n = 28 or 35.
In Europe, P. monspeliensis hybridizes with Agrostis stolonifera, producing the sterile × Agropogon lutosus, and with P. viridis, forming P. × adscendens Guss. ex Bertol. (Barkworth, 2007).
P. monspeliensis is an annual, C3 graminoid, reproducing by seed (Guertin, 2003). The flowers are hermaphrodite (with both male and female organs) and are pollinated by wind. The seeds can adhere to wool and skin of animals (Ridley, 1930). Carr et al. (1992) also suggested that seed may be spread by animals (attached externally or, possibly, through the gut), water or wind. The species produces over 100 seeds per plant and the seeds remain viable in the soil for 1 to 5 years (NatureServe, 2012).
Physiology and Phenology
Souza et al. (1999) found that rhizosphere bacteria aid in the ability of P. monspeliensis to accumulate selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) from aquatic systems into its roots and shoots.
No associations are specifically reported for P. monspeliensis, although it co-exists with several other grasses and other species that grow in similar environments.
In North America, and elsewhere, P. monspeliensis commonly grows in damp to wet, often alkaline soils, particularly in disturbed areas and often near waterways (Barkworth, 2007). As noted in the ‘Notes on Habitat’ section, it can tolerate some salinity, and occurs in brackish water.
ClimateTop of page
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer||Tolerated||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Tolerated||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
P. monspeliensis is a grass which appears to be palatable to livestock and is therefore grazed by sheep, cattle and other mammals when they have access to it. It is also, presumably, affected by locally active insect pests wherever it grows. There is no available information on any natural enemies that specifically feed on this species.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
Seeds of P. monspeliensis can be spread by wind or water (Carr et al., 1992).
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
The seeds can also be spread by animals (attached externally or, possibly, through the gut) (Carr et al., 1992).
Since it occurs among other grass species, the species has probably been spread as a contaminant in hay or straw (whether used as animal feed or bedding), in grass seed, etc.
Use of the species as an ornamental (Hubbard, 1984) may have contributed to its spread.
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
|Containers and packaging - non-wood||Yes|
|Containers and packaging - wood||Yes|
|Floating vegetation and debris||Yes|
|Mulch, straw, baskets and sod||Yes|
|Plants or parts of plants||As a contaminant in hay, straw, grass seed, etc.||Yes||Yes|
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||seeds||Yes|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Timber type||Used as packing|
|Loose wood packing material||No|
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
McKay et al. (1993) found that P. monspeliensis can poison livestock in Australia when the seed head is infested with Anguina agrostis nematodes carrying Clavibacter toxicus [Rathayibacter toxicus] producing corynetoxins. These cause incoordination, tremor, convulsions, and sudden death; this is called Stewart Range syndrome or flood plain staggers. However, the disease is mostly caused by infected Lolium rigidum (Riley et al., 2010), which is much more common than P. monspeliensis in Australia.
P. monspeliensis occurs as a minor weed of wheat in Pakistan (Ashiq et al., 2006). It has been recorded as a dominant grass species in wheat in Egypt (Tagour, 2011). In India, it is regarded as one of several predominant weeds (KrishiSewa.com, 2012), and classified as a 'principal' weed by Holm et al. (1979).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Inderjit and Dakshini (1995) demonstrated that allelopathic phenols of straw of P. monspeliensis inhibited root growth of radish and cluster bean, and also shoot growth of radish. They pointed out that this implies that P. monspeliensis does not affect crops (or other plants) growing with it, but only those growing in following seasons on a site where its dried biomass is present.
Impact on Habitats
According to the factsheet on P. monspeliensis in Weeds of Australia (Queensland Government, 2012), the species is regarded as a relatively important environmental weed in Victoria and Western Australia. While not widely regarded as a problem in other states, it commonly invades natural habitats in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
In Victoria, it is seen as a serious threat to one or more vegetation formations (Queensland Government, 2012). For example, it is classified as a high threat weed species in grassy wetland and brackish wetland communities. It also appears on some local and regional environmental weed lists (e.g. in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and in the Mornington Peninsula Shire) and grows in many conservation areas in this state (e.g. in Morwell National Park, Barkindji Biosphere Reserve, Phillip Island Nature Park and Organ Pipes National Park).
In Western Australia it grows in moist areas, along creeks and rivers, and in swamps (Queensland Government, 2012). It is a common weed of disturbed wetlands, both freshwater and brackish, from Kalbarri to Cape Arid, and was ranked as a moderate priority species in the Environmental Weed Strategy of Western Australia. It is particularly troublesome in brackish wetlands and saline areas along rivers in south-western Western Australia.
Impact on Biodiversity
P. monspeliensis is seen as a threat to the endangered turnip copperburr (Sclerolaena napiformis) in Victoria, Australia (Queensland Government, 2012).
According to Guertin (1993), the Federal Register (1997) points out that on sites of vernal pools in the Central Valley of California, USA, Polypogonmonspeliensis is named as one of several species threatening several plants considered for 'endangered' or 'threatened' status, specifically Orcuttia inaequalis, Orcuttia pilosa, and Tuctoria greenei.
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Orcuttia inaequalis||National list(s) National list(s)||California||Competition||Guertin, 2003|
|Orcuttia pilosa (hairy Orcutt grass)||NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered species||California||Competition||Guertin, 2003|
|Sclerolaena napiformis||National list(s) National list(s)||Victoria||Competition||Queensland Government, 2012|
|Tuctoria greenei (Greene's tuctoria)||National list(s) National list(s); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered species||California||Competition||Guertin, 2003|
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Fast growing
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Threat to/ loss of endangered species
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Causes allergic responses
UsesTop of page
P. monspeliensis has apparently been used in cut flower arrangements and also as a garden ornamental. It is palatable to livestock and therefore grazed by sheep, cattle and other mammals when they have access to it.
Moerman (2012) indicates its usage among Native Americans to treat heart palpitations, as food or as a lotion to wash a snake figurine before painting it.
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Landscape improvement
- Botanical garden/zoo
Detection and InspectionTop of page
P. monspeliensis is easy to detect when flowering; otherwise it is hard to distinguish from other grasses.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
The genus Polypogon is similar to Agrostis, and occasionally hybridizes with it. It differs from Agrostis in having spikelets that disarticulate below the glumes, often at the base of a stipe (Barkworth 2007).
Among other species of Polypogon, P. strictus in South Africa is distinguished by its 3 awns per spikelet, much longer at up to 25 mm long., while in India, P. fugax differs in its much shorter awns, to 5 mm only. In southern Africa P. semiverticillatus has virtually no awns.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Modern phytosanitary regulations for international trade ought to prevent further international spread of the species.
As with most other grasses, digging, pulling, or cultivation will give good control, depending on where the plants occur.
No information on biological control has been found in the literature.
P. monspeliensis is probably effectively controlled by most grass-killing herbicides, including glyphosate, fluazifop, haloxyfop, etc.
Tagour et al. (2011) reported improved control of P. monspeliensis in wheat with two different formulations of clodinafop with the addition of nonylphenol polyglycol ether) as an adjuvant.
In India, KrishiSewa.com (2012) recommends pendimethalin as a pre-emergence treatment, sulfosulfuran, metribuzin or a mixture of these for the control of grass and broadleaf weeds, and clodinafop or fenoxaprop for control of grass weeds.
Heap (2012) reports that in Israel P. monspeliensis first evolved resistance to Group C1/5 herbicides in 1979 and infests roadsides; these biotypes are resistant to triazines (atrazine and simazine).
Guertin (2003) lists herbicides effective for control: propanil and metribuzin (Rice, 1992 in Guertin, 2003); chlorimuron -- effective against P monspeliensis in soyabean fields (Singh and Malik, 1993 in Guertin 2003); fluazifop -- observed to control P. monspeliensis in onion crops (Watkins and Hargrave, 1984 in Guertin, 2003); and oxyfluorfen.
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
More information on the environmental and economic impacts of P. monspeliensis would be useful. Little is known of its agronomic value, whether it is a productive grass, how readily it is grazed, etc. Nor is anything known about its adverse effects on more valuable species in pastures or in other areas where it occurs.
ReferencesTop of page
Ashiq M; Muhammad N; Ahmad N, 2006. Comparative efficacy of different herbicides to control grassy weeds in wheat. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research, 12(3):157-161.
Barkworth ME, 2007. Polypogon. Flora of North America vol. 24 [ed. by Barkworth, M. E. \Capels, K. M. \Long, S. \Anderton, L. K. \Piep, M. B.]. http://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual
Biological Records Centre, 2012. Online Atlas of the British and Irish flora. Wallingford, UK: Biological Records Centre. http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/
Burgess TL; Bowers JE; Turner RM, 1991. Exotic plants at the desert laboratory, Tucson, Arizona. Madroño, 38(2):96-114.
Carr GW; Yugovic JV; Robinson KE, 1992. Environmental Weed Invasions in Victoria: Conservation and Management Implications. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation and Environment, 78 pp.
Cheeseman TF, 1906. Manual of the New Zealand flora. Wellington, New Zealand: J. Mackay, Govt. Printer, 1199 pp.
Clayton WD; Vorontsova MS; Harman KT; Williamson H, 2012. GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. London, UK: The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.kew.org/data/grasses-db.html
Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2012. Australia's Virtual Herbarium. http://avh.ala.org.au/
Danin A, 2012. Flora of Israel online. Jerusalem, Israel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. http://flora.huji.ac.il/browse.asp
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OrganizationsTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
28/10/2012 Original text by:
Ian Popay, consultant, New Zealand, with the support of Landcare Research.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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