Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Arrhenatherum elatius
(false oat-grass)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Arrhenatherum elatius
  • Preferred Common Name
  • false oat-grass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • False oat-grass, Arrhenatherum elatius, is a tall, usually erect, tussock-forming, perennial grass. It is sensitive to low temperatures and prefers neutral soils of high to moderate fertility. The species is...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit. Netherlands.
TitleHabit
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit. Netherlands.
HabitArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering habit. Netherlands.
TitleHabit
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering habit. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering habit. Netherlands.
HabitArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering habit. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering spike. Netherlands.
TitleFlowering spike
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering spike. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering spike. Netherlands.
Flowering spikeArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowering spike. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close view of flowering spike. Netherlands.
TitleFlowering spike
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close view of flowering spike. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close view of flowering spike. Netherlands.
Flowering spikeArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close view of flowering spike. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowers. Malling, Jutland, Denmark. June 2007.
TitleFlowers
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowers. Malling, Jutland, Denmark. June 2007.
Copyright©Sten Porse, Denmark/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowers. Malling, Jutland, Denmark. June 2007.
FlowersArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); flowers. Malling, Jutland, Denmark. June 2007.©Sten Porse, Denmark/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close-up of single spikelet. Netherlands.
TitleSingle spikelet
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close-up of single spikelet. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close-up of single spikelet. Netherlands.
Single spikeletArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); close-up of single spikelet. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); ligules. Netherlands.
TitleLigules
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); ligules. Netherlands.
Copyright©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); ligules. Netherlands.
LigulesArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); ligules. Netherlands.©Jan Bakker/via wikipedia (Rasbak) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, single plant. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2001
TitleHabit
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, single plant. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2001
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, single plant. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2001
HabitArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, single plant. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2001©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, showing characteristic appearance when viewed 'against the light'. Puu Mali, Hawaii, USA. July 2004.
TitleHabit
CaptionArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, showing characteristic appearance when viewed 'against the light'. Puu Mali, Hawaii, USA. July 2004.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, showing characteristic appearance when viewed 'against the light'. Puu Mali, Hawaii, USA. July 2004.
HabitArrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass); habit, showing characteristic appearance when viewed 'against the light'. Puu Mali, Hawaii, USA. July 2004.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) P.Beauv. ex J.Presl & C.Presl.

Preferred Common Name

  • false oat-grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Arrhenatherum avenaceum P.Beauv.
  • Arrhenatherum baeticum (Romero Zarco) Brullo, Miniss. & Spamp.
  • Arrhenatherum bulbosum (Willd.) C.Presl.
  • Avena bulbosa Willd.
  • Avena elatior L.
  • Avena tuberosa Gilib.
  • Avenastrum elatius (L.) Jess.
  • Holcus avenaceus var. bulbosus (Schrad.) Gaudich.
  • Holcus elatior (L.) Scop.
  • Hordeum avenaceum Steud.

International Common Names

  • English: bulbous false oat; bulbous oatgrass; false oat; false oat grass; false oatgrass; French rye grass; French-rye; meadow oat grass; onion couch; onion twitch; onion-root twitch; tall meadow oat; tall oat grass; tall oatgrass; tall oat-grass; tuber oat grass
  • Spanish: avena descollada; avena elevada; fromental; mazorilla; raygras Françés
  • French: avoine élevée; fenasse; fromental; fromental élevé
  • Russian: raigras frantsuzskii; raigras vysokii
  • Chinese: yan mai cao
  • Portuguese: erva-de-conta

Local Common Names

  • Germany: französisches Raygras; Glatthafer; hoher Glatthafer
  • Italy: avena altissima; erba altissima
  • Japan: o-kani-tsuri
  • Netherlands: Frans raaigras; glanshaver
  • Poland: owsik wyniosly; rajgras wyniosly
  • Portugal: aveia-de-rosário; aveia-grande
  • Sweden: knylhavre; pärlhavre

EPPO code

  • ARREL (Arrhenatherum elatius)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

False oat-grass, Arrhenatherum elatius, is a tall, usually erect, tussock-forming, perennial grass. It is sensitive to low temperatures and prefers neutral soils of high to moderate fertility. The species is native and widespread throughout most parts of Europe, western and southwestern Asia, and North Africa. Within its native range the species is often abundant in lightly grazed or mown grasslands, particularly hay meadows, or along roadside verges. It is however, absent or rare in pastures or other heavily grazed or trampled grasslands.

A. elatius has been deliberately introduced as a fodder and pasture grass into a number of countries and has become widespread in North America, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America. It has also been introduced as a fodder and ornamental grass into China and Japan. A. elatius has been recorded as an invader of native grasslands, such as prairies in North America, while its subspecies, A. elatius subsp. bulbosum, is often of more economic significance as a problematic weed in arable land. 

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Arrhenatherum
  •                                 Species: Arrhenatherum elatius

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

Frequently only referred to as variants, two subspecies have been described for Arrhenatherum elatius (Cussans and Morton, 1990), the more common and widespread of which is A. elatius subsp. elatius (L.) P. Beauv. ex J. & C. Presl. The second, A. elatius subsp. bulbosum (Willd.) Schübl. & G.Martens, the onion couch or tuber oat grass, is distinguished by the presence of corms at the base of the stem, by which it propagates. The Plant List (2013), however, does not accept subsp. elatius and places it in synonymy with A. elatius, but does additionally recognise subsp. sardoum (Em. Schmid) Gamisans and subsp. vulgare (Fr.) Hyl.

The name Arrhenatherum is derived from the Greek arrhen meaning male and atheras meaning awn, referring to the awn present on the staminate floret. The Latin epithet elatius means tall and refers to the plant’s stature, as reflected in one of its common names tall oat-grass.

Description

Top of page

A comprehensive description of the plant is given by Pfitzenmeyer (1962):

A. elatius is a tall (up to 180 cm), usually erect, tussock-forming, perennial grass. Shoots subcylindrical, young leaves convolute; sheaths split, with overlapping margins; ligules membranous, 1-3 mm long, blunt; blades without auricles, long (up to 40cm), their width increasing from the base to about two-thirds of their length, then decreasing to give an acuminate tip; upper surface, smooth, ribless; lower with marked keel. Flag leaves shorter, widest at their base, and keel not well developed. In subsp. bulbosum the lowest stem internodes are swollen and form 'bulbs', usually 4 to 9 mm in diameter, which can regenerate the plant; there may be up to seven or eight superimposed 'bulbs'.

Inflorescence a panicle with about ten nodes from which spring clusters of four to six stalks bearing the pedicels of the spikelets. Spikelets usually 2-flowered, the lower male only, the upper hermaphrodite; sometimes a third, fourth or even fifth floret may be present, hermaphrodite or rudimentary; lowest floret also sometimes hermaphrodite. Glumes membranous, unequal, the lower 1-nerved and shorter, the upper 3 –nerved and longer. Lower floret with a long, twisted, geniculate awn, inserted one-third from base of the lemma; upper floret generally awnless, but when present usually straight, and inserted near the tip of the lemma. Grain hairy, 4 mm long, enclosed in the hardened lemma. Plants usually glabrous, but specimens are sometimes found with a few scattered hairs on the sheaths and upper surface of the blades. Anthocyanin is frequently found at the base of the shoots and on the glumes and anthers, giving the panicles a distinctly purple appearance. Specimens without anthocyanin are occasionally found.

Illustrations of A. elatius are given in Hubbard (1954).

Plant Type

Top of page Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

Top of page

In Europe A. elatius is widespread and reaches as far as 70°N latitude on the Atlantic coast of Norway, and 65°N in Sweden and Finland (Hultén, 1950), the limit of its northern distribution closely following the -6.5°C January isotherm (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). In North Africa along its southern limit the species mainly inhabits the Atlas Mountains, while the Caucasus Mountains form its eastern limit (Maire, 1953; Pfitzenmeyer, 1962), although other authorities have the eastern native range extending into eastern European Russia and Central Asia (eMonocot, 2016).

The introduced range of A. elatius includes North and South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as parts of Asia (eMonocot, 2016). In North America it is found in all but a handful of the contiguous states of the USA, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, while in Canada it has become naturalized in the eastern provinces, as well as British Columbia (USDA-NRCS, 2016). In Australia it is naturalized in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania (Atlas of Living Australia, 2016).

Distribution Table

Top 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/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ArmeniaPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
AzerbaijanPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
ChinaPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
IndiaPresentNative Not invasive Shukla, 1996; eMonocot, 2016
-MeghalayaPresent Not invasive Shukla, 1996escape
IranPresentNative Not invasive Rechinger, 1998
IraqPresentNative Not invasive Bor and Guest, 1968
JapanPresentIntroducedMito and Uesugi, 2004
JordanPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
KazakhstanPresentNativeeMonocot, 2016
Korea, DPRPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
Korea, Republic ofPresentIntroducedGlobal Compendium of Weeds, 2016
KyrgyzstanPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
LebanonPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
PalestinePresentNativeeMonocot, 2016
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
SyriaPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
TaiwanPresentIntroducedHsu et al., 2000
TajikistanPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
TurkeyPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
TurkmenistanPresentNative Not invasive Afonin et al., 2016

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009
Crozet IslandsPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
MauritiusPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
MoroccoPresentNative Not invasive Maire, 1953
RéunionPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
South AfricaPresentIntroducedGermishuizen and Meyer, 2003KwaZulu-Natal Province
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentNative Not invasive Izquierdo et al., 2004
TunisiaPresentNative Not invasive Valdés et al., 2009

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New BrunswickPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OntarioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-QuebecPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
MexicoPresentIntroducedWeed Futures, 2016
USAPresentIntroducedWills and Begg, 1994; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-AlaskaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999; Starr et al., 2003
-IdahoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MainePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MinnesotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MontanaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-NevadaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New HampshirePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OregonPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-South DakotaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-UtahPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-VermontPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-WyomingPresentIntroduced Invasive Swearingen, 2006; USDA-NRCS, 2016

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedZuloaga et al., 1994
BrazilPresentIntroducedClayton et al., 2016; eMonocot, 2016Southern regions
ChilePresentIntroducedVillanueva, 1966; Hafliger and Scholz, 1980; Ormeño and Díaz, 1995
ColombiaPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1979
EcuadorPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
Falkland IslandsPresentIntroducedVarnham, 2006
UruguayPresentIntroducedRosengurtt et al., 1970

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
AustriaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
BelarusPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
BelgiumPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
BulgariaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
CroatiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
CyprusPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
DenmarkPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
EstoniaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
Faroe IslandsPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
FinlandPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
FrancePresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-CorsicaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
GermanyPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
GreecePresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
HungaryPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
IcelandPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
IrelandPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
ItalyPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980Including Sardinia and Sicily
LatviaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
LithuaniaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
MoldovaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
NetherlandsPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
NorwayPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
PolandPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
PortugalPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-AzoresPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-MadeiraPresentNativeeMonocot, 2016
RomaniaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
Russian FederationPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-Central RussiaPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-Northern RussiaPresentNativeeMonocot, 2016
-Russian Far EastPresentIntroducedeMonocot, 2016
-Southern RussiaPresentNativeeMonocot, 2016
-Western SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
SerbiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
SloveniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2016
SpainPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
-Balearic IslandsPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
SwedenPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
SwitzerlandPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
UKPresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
UkrainePresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNative Not invasive Tutin et al., 1980

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Weed Futures, 2016
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedCsurhes and Edwards, 1998; Atlas of Living Australia, 2016
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; Atlas of Living Australia, 2016
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced1868Atlas of Living Australia, 2016
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedAtlas of Living Australia, 2016
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedAtlas of Living Australia, 2016
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedAtlas of Living Australia, 2016
New ZealandPresentIntroduced1880s Invasive Edgar and Connor, 2000; eMonocot, 2016Present on North, South and Chatham Islands

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

A. elatius was introduced from Europe into North America as a pasture grass in the early 1800s at the latest, with one source citing 1807 as a specific date (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006; Utah State University Extension, 2016). However, introduction into the USA may have already happened earlier, during the 1700s (Wills and Begg, 1994). Since then, A. elatius has become naturalized in large parts of the USA and Canada providing forage for livestock and wildlife. Despite the fact that it is sensitive to grazing pressure, it has been used extensively in land revegetation efforts and seed is readily available and inexpensive (Plummer et al., 1968; Utah State University Extension, 2016). Both A. elatius and its subspecies are established in the USA; the former seems to have become much more widespread than subsp. bulbosum (New England Wild Flower Society, 2016).

Reference to the introduction of A. elatius into New Zealand as a beneficial grass was made as early as the 1880s when it was recommended for pasture use (Mackay, 1887; Wills and Begg, 1994). Here it was included in early experimental trials and pasture revegetation experiments (Earnshaw, 1910; MacPherson, 1912). In 1988, new accessions of false oat-grass originating from a wide range of countries were introduced to New Zealand provided by the US Department of Agriculture (Wills and Begg, 1994). A. elatius was, along with a wide range of grass species, introduced to Australia as a hay grass for pasture improvement in the 19th century. Although thought to have been introduced in the 1870s (Weed Futures, 2016), one of the first recorded collections is from South Australia in 1868 where it was not particularly common (Jessop et al., 2006).

Into Taiwan, China and Japan A. elatius was introduced as an ornamental grass and has subsequently escaped cultivation to become naturalized (Hsu et al., 2000; Mito and Uesugi, 2004; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016).

Little is known about the time of introduction into other countries, its spread and whether introductions were accidental or done intentionally.

Introductions

Top of page
Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia Europe 1800s Crop production (pathway cause) Yes No Weed Futures (2016) Introduced as pasture grass
New Zealand Europe 1880s Crop production (pathway cause) Yes No Wills and Begg (1994) Introduced as pasture grass
USA Europe 1700s Crop production (pathway cause) Yes No Wills and Begg (1994) Introduced as pasture grass

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

On a global scale, A. elatius has almost colonized all temperate geographical regions which can provide a suitable climate for this species. Therefore, the risk of further significant spread is comparably low. Exceptions may be islands within temperate climate zones, which have not been invaded by this species so far.

The exact distribution of the two separate subspecies remains unclear and there may be a continued risk that A. elatius subsp. bulbosum, which is a weed of arable land, may still become more widespread.

Until recently A. elatius has been deliberately imported as a fodder and pasture grass as well as an ornamental into a number of countries under legal licensing procedures. It is likely that this form of introduction will continue to a certain degree, particularly when the species is already widespread in the importing country.

Habitat

Top of page

Arrhenatherum grasses are commonly adventive, mesophytic to xerophytic species of open habitats, particularly dry grasslands, edges of woods and disturbed ground. A. elatius is frequent to abundant in lightly grazed or mown grasslands, particularly in long-established hay meadows, but absent or rare in pasture. It tolerates occasional mowing and, in parts of Europe especially, hay meadows are often dominated by this species (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). In Britain it is particularly common on roadside verges and along the foot of hedgerows (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962; Watson and Dallwitz, 2015). Inside wooded areas it is restricted to regeneration glades and open scrub (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962).

In New Zealand, A. elatius is widespread along roadsides and railway lines from sea level to montane areas. Here it also inhabits clay banks, waste ground, paddocks and sometimes dune margins and can become a garden weed (Edgar and Connor, 2000). In Australia it is a weed of roadsides and perennial crops, particularly in areas of high rainfall (Simon, 2010, 2016). In South Australia, it has been recorded in irrigated orchards and along creeks, and as a weed in gardens (Jessop et al., 2006).

In North America, A. elatius has become naturalized in meadows, fields, open ground, waste places and roadsides from Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico and California (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Coastal dunes Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

A. elatius subsp. bulbosum is frequently considered a weed in arable crops (e.g. Langer and Hill, 1991). However, little information is available on the crop species affected and the degree of damage and yield losses caused. In Chile A. elatius is of particular significance in wheat (Ormeño and Díaz, 1995).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Top of page
Plant nameFamilyContext
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

The base chromosome number of the genus Arrhenatherum is 7. A. elatius is a tetraploid with 2n = 4x = 28. In a survey of material of diverse British and European origin, only one aneuploid (2n = 27) was identified with certainty (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). No B-chromosomes are known. The mean number of quadrivalents per cell at meiosis is 3.3 (Pfitzenmeyer, 1959). Myers and Hill (1940) observed seven quadrivalents in a cell, suggesting that autotetraploidy can occur.

Crosses between A. elatius and Helictotrichon pubescens resulted in seeds but it is not known whether these were fertile (Ullmann, 1936). Watson and Dallwitz (2015) list intergeneric hybrids with Avena. Otherwise, attempts to cross A. elatius with other genera have been unsuccessful (Beddows, 1958, Pfitzenmeyer, 1959). It is not known whether A. elatius is inter-fertile with the other species of the genus Arrhenatherum (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962), although A. elatius and its subspecies bulbosum can interbreed freely (Preston and Rich, 1998).

Reproductive Biology

A. elatius is wind-pollinated and self-fertilization may occur. Viability of seeds is generally good and germination rates are high but can vary between different genotypes. Generally, there is little dormancy and seeds can germinate soon after they mature (le Clerch, 1976). For A. elatius subsp. bulbosum vegetative reproduction by corms can be significant under moist soil and humid atmospheric conditions; otherwise reproduction is by seed alone (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962).

Physiology and Phenology

A. elatius is sensitive to low temperatures and exposure to wind, particularly on poor acid soils. In cold climates sexual reproduction is severely handicapped, and increasing temperature accelerates seed germination, vegetative growth and panicle production (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). A. elatius does not tolerate shade, and sea salt concentration in coastal habitats is also limiting (Gillham, 1957; Pfitzenmeyer, 1962).

Longevity

A. elatius is a relatively long-lived perennial according to Van Eck et al. (2006), but others consider it to be a relatively short-lived perennial (e.g. Monsen et al., 2004). Stored under dry and cool conditions, its seeds retain their viability for at least five years (Schwendiman and Mullen, 1944; Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). However, in the field seeds may persist for only 1-2 years (le Clerch, 1976).

Associations

In the UK, and presumably other areas in Europe, A. elatius can be found in a wide range of plant communities, including in rank grassy vegetation (with species such as Festuca rubra, Dactylis glomerata, Heracleum sphondylium, Anthriscus sylvestris and Chaerophyllum temulum) in Rubus fruticosus - Holcus lanatus woodland underscrub; in Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis woodland; and in assemblages of the Arrhenatherion grassland community with Holcus lanatus, Heracleum sphondylium, Elymus repens, Calystegia sepium, Bromus sterilis, Cirsium arvense and Arctium minus, to name but a few (Rodwell, 1991).

Environmental Requirements

A. elatius is most abundant on well-aerated, moderately deep neutral or near neutral (calcareous) soils of high to moderate fertility (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). It occurs on soils with a pH range of 5.0-8.0, with an optimum of 6.0-7.5 (Spurway, 1941).

In New Zealand A. elatius is best adapted to moderate-low rainfall areas (400-700 mm per annum) which are not too exposed or too cold. It seems to be well adapted to establish and spread under dry soil conditions which result from hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum) invasion in mid-altitude grassland areas (Wills and Begg, 1994).

The highest altitude at which A. elatius has been found growing is 423 m in Britain (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962), 700 m in central Germany (Speidel, 1952), 1300 m in the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia (Pawlowski, 1931), 1920 m in the Austrian Alps (Zürn, 1949) and 3000 m in the Caucasus Mountains (Boissier, 1884). In its introduced range it has been recorded at elevations of 1400-1600 m in South Africa (Germishuizen and Meyer, 2003).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
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 Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Tolerated Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Top of page
Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
70 50

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Agromyza nigrociliata Herbivore Leaves not specific
Agromyza rondensis Herbivore Leaves not specific
Blumeria graminis Pathogen Whole plant not specific
Cheilaria agrostidis Pathogen Leaves not specific
Chromatomyia nigra Herbivore Leaves not specific
Claviceps purpurea Pathogen Inflorescence/Seeds not specific
Didymella graminicola Pathogen Leaves not specific
Epichloe typhina Pathogen Stems not specific
Gibberella zeae Pathogen Inflorescence/Stems not specific
Lidophia graminis Pathogen Inflorescence/Leaves not specific
Liriomyza phryne Herbivore Leaves not specific
Liriomyza pusio Herbivore Leaves to species
Metopolophium albidum Herbivore Leaves/Stems not specific
Oscinella frit Herbivore Leaves/Stems not specific
Pseudoseptoria donacis Pathogen Leaves not specific
Puccinia brachypodii var. arrhenatheri Pathogen Leaves not specific
Puccinia coronata Pathogen Leaves not specific
Puccinia graminis f.sp. avenae Herbivore Leaves/Stems not specific
Ramularia pusilla Pathogen Leaves not specific
Septoria bromi var. arrhenatheri Pathogen Leaves not specific
Stagonospora arrhenatheri Pathogen Leaves/Stems not specific
Urocystis agropyri Pathogen Leaves not specific
Urocystis avenae-elatioris Pathogen Leaves to species
Ustilago avenae Pathogen Inflorescence not specific
Ustilago striiformis Pathogen Leaves not specific
Ustilentyloma brefeldii Pathogen Leaves to species

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

A wide range of pathogens and mainly dipteran insects have been recorded from A. elatius but only few have this species as their main host or are host-specific (e.g. BioInfo UK, 2015).

The aphid Metopolophium albidum is mainly recorded from A. elatius, but when abundant during summer months it will also readily feed on other meadow grasses (Stroyan, 1950). This aphid species has also been identified as a potential vector of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) (A'Brook and Dewar, 1980). The chloropid fly Oscinella frit is a polyphagous herbivore of grasses but the species may consist of an aggregate of as yet undescribed taxa. One form seems to be specific to Arrhenatherum but details of its taxonomy and ecology are unknown (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962; Wetzel, 1967; Nartshuk and Andersson, 2013). In addition, the leaf-mining fly Liriomyza pusio (Agromyzidae) has so far only been recorded definitely from A. elatius (Spencer, 1972; Pitkin et al., 2016).

Most of the pathogens recorded from A. elatius are pathogenic on a wide range of grass genera (Vánky, 2012; Farr and Rossman, 2015). The apparently Arrhenatherum-specific Puccinia arrhenatheri [Puccinia brachypodii var. arrhenatheri] has Berberis vulgaris as alternative host (Urban and Marková, 1994; Naef et al., 2002). Currently only Stagonospora arrhenatheri, Urocystis avenae-elatioris and Ustilentyloma brefeldii have been reported solely from A. elatius as their host (Grove, 1935; Legon et al., 2005; Spooner and Legon, 2006).

A. elatius appears to be immune to both the milder and the more severe isolates of British Barley yellow dwarf virus (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962), but it is infected by the Tall oatgrass mosaic virus (TOgMV) (Hassan et al., 2014). 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal

A. elatius declines when under grazing pressure but will return when grazing pressure is reduced. This applies particularly to A. elatius subsp. bulbosum (Robinson, 1988). As the plants begin to die off, the swollen nodes/corms detach from their stems and can be dispersed by wind or water to propagate in new areas.

As seed is fairly lightweight it is dispersed by wind (Albrecht et al., 2008), but also by water in wetlands and floodplains (Boedeltje et al., 2004).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

In their study of seed dispersal by donkeys in a Belgian coastal dune nature reserve, Couvreur et al. (2005) estimated that seed of A. elatius could adhere to fur for over 1 h, giving a mean dispersal distance of nearly 200 m.

Intentional Introduction

The most important means of dispersal of A. elatius is through human-mediated sowing of the species for fodder and pasture use and as an ornamental. Once introduced, the species can easily naturalize and spread (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962).

Pathway Causes

Top of page
CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionPrevalent cause of introduction Yes Yes Pfitzenmeyer, 1962
ForageUsed as hay Yes Yes
Habitat restoration and improvementSown for erosion control Yes Yes USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006
HitchhikerCan attach to animal fur for limited dispersal Yes Couvreur et al., 2005
Ornamental purposesGrown and sold as an ornamental Yes Yes Hodgson, 2005

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Water Yes Boedeltje et al., 2004
Wind Yes Albrecht et al., 2008

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Negative

Economic Impact

Top of page

False oat-grass has been introduced into the USA, Canada, Southern South America and New Zealand as a valuable fodder and pasture grass and is in most introduced regions still regarded as economically beneficial. In New Zealand it is considered a particularly important pasture grass in drought-prone areas where it is thought to mitigate the negative impact of the invasive introduced pasture weed Pilosella officinalis (Wills and Begg, 1994).

In Australia, A. elatius has been widely grown as a pasture grass and is considered beneficial as fodder and as an ornamental, but it is also considered as a weed of vegetable cultivation, disturbed areas, rotational crops, perennial crops and grasslands (HerbiGuide, 2015).

In Chile, A. elatius is considered a noxious weed in arable and grassland situations (Villanueva, 1966).

Environmental Impact

Top of page

Impact on Habitats

Probably the biggest environmental concern relating to the invasiveness of A. elatius is its impact on the composition and structure of native prairie grasslands in western North America (Wilson and Clark, 2001; Weber, 2003). A. elatius forms species poor clones that may cover large areas and displace native plant species and vegetation (Weber, 2003). Dead shoots of A. elatius are highly flammable and the grass resprouts quickly after burning. The result of fire suppression, however, has been the invasion of prairies and oak woodlands by native and non-native plant species, including the non-native grasses A. elatius and Brachypodium sylvaticum (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013).

Impact on Biodiversity

In western North America, structural changes in prairie grasslands caused by the invasion of A. elatius impact negatively on the reproduction of the endangered prairie butterfly Icaricia icarioides fenderi (Severns, 2008). This blue butterfly is endemic to the Willamette Valley of northwestern Oregon and is host-specific on the rare and threatened Kincaid’s lupin (Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii). Parts of that prairie habitat are covered up to 100% by A. elatius, limiting the overall diversity of the sites and opportunities for growth of the lupin and butterfly populations (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006).

The increase in alien species such as A. elatius in these western North American prairies has also resulted in less available prairie habitat overall, and the development of habitat that is avoided by the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori [Occidryas editha taylori]) and threatened streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013).

Threatened Species

Top of page
Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Eremophila alpestris strigata (streaked horned lark)USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesUSA; Oregon; WashingtonCompetition (unspecified); Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013
Icaricia icarioides fenderiUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesOregonCompetitionSeverns, 2008
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii (Kincaid's lupine)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesOregon; WashingtonCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006
Occidryas editha tayloriUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesUSACompetitionUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013

Social Impact

Top of page

As a grass species producing pollen which often induces hay fever, asthma and conjunctivitis in sensitized individuals, A. elatius can be of concern for human health. The pollen is considered mildly allergenic (PollenLibrary.com, 2016) and produces the respective Group 1 and Group 5 grass allergens Arr e 1 and Arr e 5 (Steinman, 2016).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top 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
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - strangling
  • Competition
  • Interaction with other invasive species
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page

Economic Value

False oat-grass can be used for livestock forage, particularly on marginal pastureland (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006; GRIN, 2015). Grazing can begin in its second growing season, although it is not recommended as a major component of forage sowings as other grasses are superior for this purpose (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006). The species recovers quickly after grazing. As a forage grass, A. elatius it is usually sown in mixtures with other species because, according to Afonin et al. (2016), it has a bitter taste making it unpalatable to cattle. Apart from forage, A. elatius is widely used for making hay.

Currently, A. elatius is being assessed for its potential suitability for biofuel production (Danielewicz et al., 2015).

Social Benefit

The corms of A. elatius subsp. bulbosum were used as human food during the Neolithic and Bronze Age (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962; Roehrs et al., 2013).

In China, apart from its use as a forage, A. elatius has also been introduced as an ornamental garden plant (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016). In fact, A. elatius is the only species of the genus grown as a garden ornamental, and ‘Variegatum’ is the only cultivar developed; it is a subsp. bulbosum selection with longitudinal white margins on its grey-green leaves (Hodgson, 2005) and is widely planted worldwide.

Environmental Services

False oat-grass is a useful conservation grass for erosion control (USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006), and can mitigate the negative impact of invasive alien pasture weeds (Wills and Begg, 1994).

Uses List

Top of page

Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Revegetation

Fuels

  • Biofuels

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Root crop

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

The genus Arrhenatherum includes only a handful of species, all of Eurasian and North African distribution. Other species of this genus include A. album, A. calderae, A. kotschyii, A. longifolium, A. palaestinum and A. pallens (Clayton et al., 2016). Some of these are very similar to A. elatius and local keys may need to be consulted.

A. elatius subsp. bulbosum is distinguished from A. elatius by the presence of corms at the base of the stem, by which it propagates. In A. elatius the lowest part of the stem is similar in diameter to the rest. The two taxa are not found growing together in the wild. For example, A. elatius subsp. bulbosum is often found in hedgebanks, on vegetated shingle along the coast and can also be a troublesome weed of arable fields in central southern England (Cussans and Morton, 1990; Preston and Rich, 1998), while A. elatius is common in grasslands (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). The easiest way to distinguish the two taxa is to uproot and examine culms from a clump. In subsp. bulbosum the lowest internodes are swollen and globose, 5-10 mm wide and distinctly broader than those above. In A. elatius the lowest internodes are cylindrical, 1-4 mm wide and similar to those above (Preston and Rich, 1998).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Cultural Control and Sanitary Measures

Frequent mowing or cutting is generally not well tolerated by A. elatius and can, thus, be applied for its control. Repeated cutting decreases the persistency of most ecotypes and the species is usually absent from well-grazed swards (Rebischung et al., 1952; Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). However, in Europe some pastures on chalk soil contain plants adapted by natural selection to tolerate grazing (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962).

The sensitivity of A. elatius to mowing has been used for its control in its introduced range. Repeated cutting reduces its vitality and in the western USA, a late spring mowing with removal of cut material is recommended over a period of at least 3 years (PIER, 2016). During trials on prairie grassland in Oregon, annual mowing was found to be most effective at reducing the cover and flowering rate of A. elatius when done near the time of its flowering, in late spring to early summer. Based on these trial results, late spring mowing with removal of cut material, continued for more than 2-3 years, is recommended for restoring degraded, A. elatius-dominated prairies (Wilson and Clark, 2001).

The recovery of A. elatius after grazing or cutting close to the ground is limited due to only a few basal axillary buds being available to regenerate new shoots (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). False oat-grass also does not tolerate trampling and is absent from heavily trodden areas. It reacts positively to manuring (Spindler, 1954; Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). In Europe, if manuring ceases, A. elatius recedes and other grass species become dominant.

Corms of A. elatius subsp. bulbosum are dispersed in disturbed land by cultivation/ploughing so as an arable weed it is often difficult to eradicate (Pfitzenmeyer, 1962). However, corms brought to the surface dry and die. Therefore, for northwestern USA monthly tillage throughout the dry season is recommended to lower populations (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993).

Chemical Control

Smaller patches of A. elatius can be sprayed with grass-selective or non-selective herbicides (Weber, 2003). Herbicides available for the control of growing plants of this species include include imazabethabenz-methyl and flamprop-M-isobutyl, the former being more effective (Rees and Sherrott, 1991). However, a single herbicide application often has a limited effect against an established stand of A. elatius subsp. bulbosum because many corms do not produce leaves each year. Most of the poor control in the field from applications of glyphosate is probably due to dormant corms in the soil that are not connected with an emerged shoot and which can sprout and spread the next year (Tanphiphat, 1989). In northwestern USA the best time to apply systemic herbicides is when the plant sugars are moving into the storage area, during the beginning of May. In contrast only limited control is seen when the plants are sprayed in the autumn after regrowth has occurred. Glyphosate is effective against emerged plants at the six-seven-leaf stage (Fitzsimmons and Burrill, 1993). Clodinafop-propargyl, a herbicide for the selective control of grass weeds, failed to control tuber oat grass but did temporarily suppress its growth (Ormeño and Díaz, 1995).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Top of page

Although recognized as an invasive species, particularly of North American prairies, because of its value as a fodder and pasture grass, there seems to be little research into the invasiveness of A. elatius and how to control it. Any research on control is mainly aimed at eliminating A. elatius subsp. bulbosum as a weed from arable crops.

References

Top of page

A'Brook J, Dewar AM, 1980. Barley yellow dwarf virus infectivity of alate aphid vectors in west Wales. Annals of Applied Biology, 96(1):51-58.

Afonin AN, Greene SL, Dzyubenko NI, Frolov AN, 2016. Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries. Economic Plants and their Diseases, Pests and Weed. http://www.agroatlas.ru

Albrecht H, Anderlik-Wesinger G, Kuhn N, Mattheis A, Pfadenhauer J, 2008. Effects of land use changes on the plant species diversity in agricultural ecosystems. In: Perspectives for agroecosystem management: balancing environmental and socio-economic demands [ed. by Schroder, P. \Pfadenhauer, J. \Munch, J. C.]. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 203-235.

Atlas of Living Australia, 2016. Arrhenatherum elatius (L.Beauv. ex J.Presl & C.Presl, oatgrass. Canberra, ACT, Australia: National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:apni.taxon:391840

Beddows AR, 1958. Report of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth 1950-1956. 11-35 pp.

BioInfo (UK), 2015. Arrhenatherum elatius (L. Beauv. ex J. Presl & C. Presl (false oat-grass). http://www.bioinfo.org.uk/html/Arrhenatherum_elatius.htm

Boedeltje G, Bakker JP, Brinke AT, Groenendael JMvan, Soesbergen M, 2004. Dispersal phenology of hydrochorous plants in relation to discharge, seed release time and buoyancy of seeds: the flood pulse concept supported. Journal of Ecology (Oxford), 92(5):786-796.

Boissier E, 1884. Flora Orientalis. Vol V. Monocotyleddonearum. Genevae et Basileae. Apud H. Georg. Bibleopalam.

Bor NL, Guest E, 1968. Flora of Iraq, Vol. 9. Gramineae. Baghdad, Iraq: Ministry of Agriculture, 588 pp.

Clayton WD, Vorontsova MS, Harman KT, Williamson H, 2016. GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens. http://www.org/data/grasses-db.html

Clerch J le, 1976. Comptes Rendus du Ve Colloque International sur l'Ecologie et la Biologie des Mauvaises Herbes. 343-350.

Couvreur M, Cosyns E, Lamoot I, Verheyen K, Hoffmann M, Hermy M, 2005. Donkeys as mobile links for plant seed dispersal in coastal dune ecosystems. In: Proceedings of "Dunes and Estuaries 2005", an international conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, 19-23 September 2005, Koksijde, Belgium [ed. by Herrier, J. L. \Mees, J. \Salman, A. \Seys, J. \Nieuwenhuyse, H. van \Dobbelaere, I.]. 279-290.

Csurhes S, Edwards R, 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia: Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, 208 pp.

Cussans J, Morton A, 1990. The distribution of the subspecies of Arrhenatherum elatius. BSBI News, 55:18-19.

Danielewicz D, Surma-Slusarska B, Zurek G, Martyniak D, Kmiotek M, Dybka K, 2015. Selected grass plants as biomass fuels and raw materials for papermaking, Part II. Pulp and paper properties. BioResources, 10(4):8552-8564. https://ncsu.edu/bioresources/BioRes_10/BioRes_10_4_8552_Danielewicz_SZM_Selected_Grass_Plants_Fuels_Paper_Pulp_Properties_8031.pdf

Earnshaw GF, 1910. Grass and clover variety trials: Moumahaki. New Zealand Journal of Agriculture, 1:205-210.

Eck WHJMvan, Lenssen JPM, Steeg HMvan de, Blom CWPM, Kroon Hde, 2006. Seasonal dependent effects of flooding on plant species survival and zonation: a comparative study of 10 terrestrial grassland species. Hydrobiologia [Symposium on Living Rivers: Trends and Challenges in Science and Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, 31 October 2003.], 565:59-69.

Edgar E, Connor HE, 2000. Flora of New Zealand. Volume V: Grasses. Lincoln, New Zealand: Manaaki Whenua Press, 650 pp.

eMonocot, 2016. eMonocot - an online resource for monocot plants. http://e-monocot.org/

Farr DF, Rossman AY, 2015. Fungal Databases. Beltsville, MD, USA: USDA-ARS Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory. http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/

Fitzsimmons JP, Burrill LC, 1993. Tuber oatgrass, Arrhenatherum elatius L. Presl. var. bulbosum (Willd). Spenner. Pacific Northwest Extension Publication, PNW 445. Corvallis, OR, USA: Oregon State University, Pacific Northwest Extension Publishing. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/17164/pnw445.pdf?sequence=4

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Germishuizen G, Meyer NL, 2003. Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist [ed. by Germishuizen, G.\Meyer, N. L.]. Pretoria, South Africa: National Botanical Institute, vi + 1231 pp.

Gillham ME, 1957. Coastal vegetation of Mull and Iona in relation to salinity and soil reaction. Journal of Ecology, 45(3):757-778.

Global Compendium of Weeds, 2016. Arrhenatherum elatius (Poaceae). http://www.hear.org/gcw/species/arrhenatherum_elatius/

Grove WB, 1935. British Stem and Leaf Fungi. Vol 1. Sphaeropsidales. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hafliger E, Scholz H, 1980. Grass weeds 2. Weeds of the subfamilies Chloridoideae, Pooideae, Oryzoideae. Basel, Switzerland: Documenta Ciba-Geigy, 137 pp.

Hassan M, Sirlová L, Vacke J, 2014. Tall oatgrass mosaic virus (TOgMV): a novel member of the genus Tritimovirus infecting Arrhenatherum elatius. Archives of Virology, 159(7):1585-1592. http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00705-013-1905-2

HerbiGuide, 2015. Bulbous oatgrass, Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum (Willd.) Spenner. http://www.herbiguide.com.au/Descriptions/hg_Bulbous_Oatgrass.htm

Hodgson L, 2005. Making the most of shade. How to plan, plant, and grow a fabulous garden that lightens up the shadows. Emmaus, PA, USA: Rodale Press, 416 pp.

Holm LG, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp.

Hsu CC, Kuoh CS, Liu HY, 2000. Gramineae (Poaceae). In: Flora of Taiwan, volume 5. 2nd edition [ed. by Huang, T. C. \Boufford, D. E. \Hsieh, C. F. \Kuoh, C. S. \Ohashi, H. \Su, H. J.]. 318-654.

Hubbard CE, 1954. Grasses. A guide to their structure, identification, uses, and distribution in the British Isles. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books Ltd., 402 pp.

Hulten E, 1950. Atlas of the distribution of vascular plants in the Nordic countries: phanerogams and ferns (Atlas over vaxternas utbredning i Norden: fanerogamer och ormbunksvaxter). Stockholm, Sweden: Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalt, 512 pp.

Izquierdo Zamora I, Martín Esquivel JM, Zurita Perez N, Arechavaleta Hernàndez M, 2004. List of wild species of the Canaries: fungi, plants and land animals. (Lista de especies silvestres de Canarias: hongos, plantas y animales terrestres.) Gobierno de Canarias, Spain: Direccion General de Medio Natural, 500 pp.

Jessop J, Dashorst GRM, James FM, 2006. Grasses of South Australia: an illustrated guide to the native and naturalised species. Adelaide, SA, Australia: Wakefield Press, 554 pp.

Langer RHM, Hill GD, 1991. Agricultural plants. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, xiii + 387pp.

Legon NW, Henrici A, Roberts PJ, Spooner BM, Watling R, 2005. Checklist of the British and Irish Basidiomycota. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 534 pp. http://www.kew.org

Mackay T, 1887. A manual of the grasses and forage plants useful to New Zealand. Vol. 1. Wellington, New Zealand: Government Printer.

MacPherson A, 1912. Revegetating experiments on depleted country. New Zealand Journal of Agriculture, 4:21-22,308-311.

Maire R, 1953. Flora of North Africa. Volume II, Monocotyledonae : Glumiflorae (Gramineae : sf. Pooideae p. p.) (Flore de l'Afrique du Nord. Volume II, Monocotyledonae : Glumiflorae (Gramineae : sf. Pooideae p. p.)). Paris, France: Paul Lecheavalier, 375 pp.

Mito T, Uesugi T, 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research, 8(2):171-191.

Monsen SB, Stevens R, Shaw N, 2004. Chapter 18. Grasses. In: Restoring western ranges and wildlands. Volume 2 [ed. by Monsen, S. B.\Stevens, R.\Shaw, N.]. Fort Collins, Colorado, USA: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 295-424. [USDA Forest Service General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-136.] http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr136_2/rmrs_gtr136_2_295_424.pdf

Myers WM, Hill HD, 1940. Studies of chromosomal association and behaviour and occurrence of aneuploidy in autotetraploid grass species, orchard grass, tall oat grass, and crested wheat grass. Botanical Gazette, 102:236-55.

Naef A, Roy BA, Kaiser R, Honegger R, 2002. Insect-mediated reproduction of systemic infections by Puccinia arrhenatheri on Berberis vulgaris. New Phytologist, 154(3):717-730.

Nartshuk EP, Andersson H, 2013. The frit flies (Chloropidae, Diptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, 43:277 pp.

New England Wild Flower Society, 2016. Go Botany. Framingham, Massachusettes, USA. https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/

Ormeno N, Dfaz SJ, 1995. Clodinafop, a new herbicide for the selective control of grass weeds in wheat. I. Control efficacy on wild oats (Avena fatua), annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), dogtailgrass (Cynosurus echinatus), and bulbous oatgrass (Arrhenatherum elatius spp. bulbosum). Agricultura Te^acute~cnica (Santiago), 55(2):106-117; 12 ref.

Pawlowski B, 1931. A list of the more important plant discoveries in the Siwy Wierch group of the Tatra Mts., Slovakia. (Verzeichnis wichtigerer Pflanzenfunde aus der Siwy Wierch-Gruppe in der slovakischen Tatra.) Botanika, 7:695-711.

Pfitzenmeyer CD, 1959. The autecology of Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) & C. Presl. and its intergeneric relationship. Cardiff, UK: University of Wales.

Pfitzenmeyer CDC, 1962. Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) J. and C. Presl (A. avenaceum Beauv.). Biological Flora of the British Isles. Journal of Ecology, 50(1):235-45.

PIER, 2016. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Pitkin B, Ellis W, Plant C, Edmunds R, 2016. The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera). http://www.ukflymines.co.uk/index.php

Plummer AP, Christensen DR, Monsen SB, 1968. Restoring big-game range in Utah. Ephraim, USA: Utah Division of Fish and Game, Publication No. 68-3.

PollenLibrarycom, 2016. Tall oat grass (Arrhenatherum elatius). , USA: IMS Health Incorporated. http://www.pollenlibrary. PollenLibrary.com, the Allergy and Botany Research Library of Pollen.com. Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA: IMS Health Incorporated. http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Specie/Arrhenatherum+elatius/

Preston CD, Rich TCG, 1998. Plant Crib: Arrhenatherum elatius. Bristol, UK: Botanical Society of the British Isles, 1 pp. http://bsbi.org.uk/Arrhenatherum_Crib.pdf

Rebischung J, Félix L, Thomas M, Demarly Y, Kerguelen M, 1952. The behaviour of two species of forage grasses grown in accordance with two different rhythms. (Comportement de deux espèces de graminées fourragères exploitérs suivant des rythmes différents.) Ann. Inst. Nat. Rech. Agron, 2:473-506.

Rechinger KH, 1998. Flora Iranica. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt.

Rees L, Sherrott AP, 1991. Repeated herbicide treatments for the long term control of Arrhenatherum elatius in winter cereals. In: Proceedings of the Brighton Crop Protection Conference, Weeds, Vol. 3. 937-944.

Robinson M, 1988. The significance of the tubers of Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) Beauv. from Site 4, cremation 15/11. In: The Rollright Stones: megaliths, monuments and settlements in the prehistoric landscape [ed. by Lambrick, G.]. London, UK: English Heritage, 101-102. [Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England Report No. 6.]

Rodwell JS, Pigott CD, Ratcliffe DA, Malloch AJC, Birks HJB, Proctor MCF, Shimwell DW, Huntley JP, Radford E, Wigginton MJ, Wilkins P, 1991. British plant communities. Volume I. Woodlands and scrub. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, x + 395 pp.

Roehrs H, Klooss S, Kirleis W, 2013. Evaluating prehistoric finds of Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum in north-western and central Europe with an emphasis on the first Neolithic finds in northern Germany. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 5(1):1-15.

Rosengurtt B, Maffei BA de, Artucio PI de, 1970. Gramineas Uruguayas (Uruguayan grasses). Montevideo, Uruguay: Universidad de la Republica, 489 pp. [Colección Ciencias vol. 5.]

Schwendiman JL, Mullen LA, 1944. Effects of processing on germinative capacity of seed of tall oatgrass. Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) Mert. and Koch. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 36:783-5.

Severns PM, 2008. Exotic grass invasion impacts fitness of an endangered prairie butterfly, Icaricia icarioides fenderi. Journal of Insect Conservation, 12(6):651-661. http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100177

Shukla U, 1996. The grasses of north-eastern India. Jodhpur, India: Scientific Publishers, 404 pp.

Simon BK, 2010. Arrhenatherum elatius. AusGrass2 - Grasses of Australia. http://ausgrass2.myspecies.info/content/arrhenatherum-elatius

Speidel B, 1952. The dependence of the main pasture grasses on altitude and soil reaction in Hessen. (Die Abhangigkeit der wichtigsten Grunlandgraser von der Hohenlage und der Bodenreaktion in Hessen.) Das Grunland, 1:42-45.

Spencer KA, 1972. Handbooks for the identification of British insects. Diptera: Agromyzidae. London, UK, Royal Entomological Society of London, 136 pp.

Spindler F, 1954. The meadows of Sundgau (Alsace). (La prairie du Sundgau.) Bull. tech. Inf. Ingrs Servs agric, 95:709-20.

Spooner BM, Legon NW, 2006. Additions and amendments to the list of British smut fungi. Mycologist, 20(3):90-96. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MImg&_imagekey=B7XMS-4KRY42V-1-1&_cdi=29678&_user=6686535&_orig=browse&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F2006&_sk=999799996&view=c&wchp=dGLbVzW-zSkWW&md5=68396c4b389c196f9fae7fa70f4b0ca1&ie=/sdarticle.pdf

Spurway CH, 1941. Soil reaction (pH) preferences of plants. Special Bulletin. Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, 306:36 pp.

Starr F, Martz K, Loope LL, 2003. New plant records from the Hawaiian Archipelago. Part 2: Notes. In: Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2001-2002. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 74 [ed. by Evenhuis, N. L. \Eldredge, L. G.]. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Bishop Museum Press, 23-34. http://www.hear.org/starr/publications/new_plant_records_2001.pdf

Steinman H, 2016. False oat-grass. Uppsala, Sweden: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. http://www.phadia.com/en/Products/Allergy-testing-products/ImmunoCAP-Allergen-Information/Grass-Pollens/Allergens/False-oat-grass-/

Stroyan HLG, 1950. Recent additions to the British aphid fauna. Part I. Dactynotus to Rhopalosiphum. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London, 101:89-124.

Swearingen J, 2006. WeedUS: Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States. USA: Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/

Tanphiphat K, 1990. Biology and control of tuber oatgrass (Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) Presl. var. bulbosum (Willd.) Spenn.). Corvallis, OR, USA: Oregon State University, 120 pp.

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.theplantlist.org

Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM, Webb DA, 1980. Flora Europaea. Volume 5. Alismataceae to Orchidaceae (Monocotyledones). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 452pp.

Ullmann W, 1936. Natural and artificial hybridization of grass species and genera. Herbage Reviews, 4(December):105-142.

Urban Z, Markova J, 1994. The rust fungi of grasses in Europe. 2. Puccinia brachypodii Otth and its allies. Acta Universitatia Carolinae Biologica, 38:13-57.

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006. In: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Fender's blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii (Kincaid's lupine), and Erigeron decumbens var. decumbens (Willamette daisy). 71(210) US Fish and Wildlife Service, 63862-63977. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2006-10-31/pdf/06-8809.pdf

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013. In: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for the Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly and Threatened Status for the Streaked Horned Lark; Final Rule. 78(192) US Fish and Wildlife Service, 61452-61503. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-03/pdf/2013-23567.pdf

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Plant Germplasm System. Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006. Plant fact sheet: tall oatgrass, Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) Presl. http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_arel3.pdf

USDA-NRCS, 2016. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Utah State University Extension, 2016. Range plants of Utah: tall oatgrass. Logan, UT, USA: Utah State University. http://extension.usu.edu/rangeplants/htm/tall-oatgrass

Valdés B, Scholz H, Raab-Straube E von, Parolly G, 2009. Poaceae (pro parte majore). Berlin, Germany: Euro+Med Plantbase. http://ww2.bgbm.org/euroPlusMed

Vanky K, 2012. Smut fungi of the world. St. Paul, Minnesota, USA: APS Press, 1458 pp.

Varnham K, 2006. Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. Peterborough, UK: Joint Nature Conservation Committee. [Database of non-native species occurring in UK Overseas Territories. Annex 4 to JNCC Report 372.]

Villanueva HL, 1966. Look-alikes plague forage crops. Biokemia, 12:10-11.

Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press/Bishop Museum Press, 1919 pp.

Watson L, Dallwitz MJ, 2015. Arrhenatherum P. Beauv. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. http://delta-intkey.com/grass/www/arrhenat.htm

Weber E, 2003. Invasive Plant Species of the World. A Reference Guide to Environmental Weeds. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.

Weed Futures, 2016. Arrhenatherum elatius, family Poaceae. Weed Futures - determining current and future weed threats in Australia. Sydney, NSW, Australia: Macquarie University. http://www.weedfutures.net/species.php?id=19

Wetzel T, 1967. Ivestigations on the occurrence and injuriousness of Dipterous larvae (Diptera, Brachycera) on grasses. (Untersuchungen zum Auftreten und zur Schadwirkung der Larven von Fliegen (Diptera, Brachycera) an Gramineen.) Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Entomologie, 59(3):260-268.

Wills BJ, Begg JSC, 1994. Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) Beauv. - a review, and evaluation of tall oat grass for dryland and hawkweed-affected country in the South Island. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association, 56:121-126.

Wilson MV, Clark DL, 2001. Controlling invasive Arrhenatherum elatius and promoting native prairie grasses through mowing. Applied Vegetation Science, 4(1):129-138.

Zuloaga FO, Nicora EG, Rugolo de Agrasar ZE, Morrone O, Pensiero J, Cialdella AM, 1994. Catalogue of the family Poaceae in the Republic of Argentina. (Catálogo de la familia Poaceae en la Republica Argentina.) Missouri Botanical Garden Monographs in Systematic Botany No. 47. St. Louis, MO, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 178 pp.

Zürn F, 1949. Which grass seeds are suitable for high-alpine locations? (Welche Grassamereien eignen sich fur hochalpine Lagen?.) Landwirtschaft, 23/24:377-378.

Links to Websites

Top of page
WebsiteURLComment
BioInfo (UK)http://www.bioinfo.org.uk/html/Arrhenatherum_elatius.htm
GrassBase - The Online World Grass Florahttp://www.kew.org/data/grasses-db/www/imp00904.htm
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network)http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?103453
WeedUS database, Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areashttp://www.invasive.org/weedus/index.html

Contributors

Top of page

04/12/15 Original text by:

Norbert Maczey, CABI, UK

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map