Alopecurus arundinaceus - Poir.
Creeping Foxtail
Synonym(s): Alopecurus ventricosus Pers., non (Gouan) Huds.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir. (TSN 40439)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.146786
Element Code: PMPOA07030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Alopecurus
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Alopecurus arundinaceus
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (11Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Colorado (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Montana (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Utah (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States COexotic, KYexotic, MTexotic, NDexotic, SDexotic, UTexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NFexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Although this species is reproductively aggressive and is often planted for land management purposes, it rarely occurs in or impacts conservation areas. This species is mostly a problem in wet meadows. The only native species habitat that it occurs in is waterways. It has no reported ecological impact and a low current range.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 15Jan2004
Evaluator: Lu, S.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eurasia (Welsh et al. 1987; Bailey and Bailey, 1976).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside of cultivation as a non-native in the U.S. (Kartesz, 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Reported as invasive in Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska (PCA 2003), which is pretty degraded but still has some conservation value as it contains plains, bluffs, and mixed-grass prairies (NPS, no date). Scotts Bluff NM is also native species habitat for four species with federal USESA status: northern bald eagle, whooping crane, peregrine falcon, and the burrowing owl (candidate).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: Does not fix nitrogen. Is not allelopathic. (USDA NRCS, no date). This species has a high fire tolerance, but the ecological consequences of that characteristic are unclear.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Insignificant
Comments: No impacts reported.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Insignificant
Comments: No impacts reported.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No impacts reported.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Insignificant
Comments: No impacts reported.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Currently established in 9 states - Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Insignificant
Comments: Reported as invasive in Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska (PCA 2003). Reported as invasive in Wyoming (Hartman and Nelson, 2000).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Occurs in at least 5 ecoregions and up to 19 ecoregions (Inference using data from Kartesz 1999 and TNC Ecoregion 2001 map).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Insignificant
Comments: Occurs mainly in non-conservation areas, such as roadsides, irrigated pastures (Welsh et al. 1987), and meadows, but also occurs along waterways (Ernst Conservation Seeds, 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: No reports of range expansion or contraction.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Unknown
Comments: Potential range not known.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Human long-distance dispersal frequent. Planted as a streambank stabilizer in western Nevada (UN-Reno, 1995), for pasture in western Montana (Goodwin and Sheley, 2003), and for stormwater management in Illinois (LITH 2002).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance
Comments: Reported as invasive in Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska (PCA 2003) and in Wyoming (Hartman and Nelson, 2000) may indicate some local range expansion or increase in abundance, but only is a small portion of all populations of this species in the US.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Insignificant
Comments: No reports of being able to spread into conservation areas on its own.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Low significance
Comments: Established as a non-native in Canada (Kartesz 1999)

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High significance
Comments: Rapid growth rate, high seed abundance, rapid vegetative spread rate, rhizomatous growth form, moderate seed spread rate (USDA NRCS, no date).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Unknown
Comments: Has low resprouting ability (USDA NRCS, no date).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Bailey, L.H., and E.Z. Bailey. 1976. Hortus Third: a concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1290 pp.

  • Ernst Conservation Seeds. 2003. Last updated October 24, 2003. Grasses and grass-like species. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Goodwin, K. and R. Sheley. 2003. Revegetation guidelines for western Montana: considering invasive weeds. Montana State University - Bozeman. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Hartman, R. L., and B. E. Nelson. 2000. Working List of Invasive Vascular Plants of Wyoming with Vernacular Names from Major Works. December 2000. Rocky Mountain Herbarium, University of Wyoming, Laramie. Online. Available:

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

  • National Park Service. No date. Scotts Bluff National Monument: Nature & Science Overview. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • USDA NRCS. No date. PLANTS database - Plant characteristics - Alopecurus arundinaceus. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • University of Nevada-Reno Cooperative Extension. 1995. Vegetation for streambank stabilization in western Nevada. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Village of the Lake in the Hills (LITH). 2002. Lake in the Hills zoning code- section 26 landscape standards. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, L.C. Higgins, and S. Goodrich, eds. 1987. A Utah Flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir 9, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 894 pp.

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