Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Beauv.

Durban crowfoot grass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Durban crowfoot is an annual grass native to Africa and Asia, and widely introduced in Europe, and the Americas. In North America it is mainly found in the South, from California to Florida and up the East Coast to New England, where it is an occasional visitor in Massachusetts and Maine.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
2–12 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
3–4.5 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
  • the glume has an awn
  • the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0–1 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
Leaf ligule length
0.5–1.5 mm
Anther length
0.5–0.8 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.5–0.8 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    • the glume has an awn
    • the glume has no awn
    Glume awn length
    At least 0 mm
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    1
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very spread out, with clearly-evident branches
    Inflorescence length
    Up to 60 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched and the branches all grow from the same side of the plant and look like spikes
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn base
    • NA
    • the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    0–1 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is V-shaped if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma vein number
    • 1
    • 3
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    3–4.5 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    2–12 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.5–1.5 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
    Leaf sheath hairs
    there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    • the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts
    • the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Chloris gayana:
rachis of branches ending in a functional or rudimentary spikelet, not extending as a bristle-tip, and glumes unawned or the upper one with a short awn to 0.3 mm (vs. D. aegyptium, with rachis of branches extending beyond distal most flowers 1–5 mm, and upper glume with an awn 1–2.5 mm long).
Dactyloctoneium radulans:
inflorescence subglobose, congested, with branches 4–15 mm long; axis of each branch prolonged beyond the apical-most spikelet for 1–1.5 mm (vs. D. aegyptium, with the inflorescence not congested, with divergent branches 15–60 mm long; axis of each branch prolonged beyond the apical-most spikelet for 1–6 mm).

Synonyms

  • Cynosurus aegyptius L.

Family

Poaceae

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd. E

Durban crowfoot grass. Cynosurus aegyptius L. • MA, ME. Waste places, cultivated land, disturbed soil.