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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Mountain Foxtail - Alopecurus magellanicus
Other Names:  Alpine Foxtail, Boreal Foxtail, Alopecurus borealis, Alopecurus alpinus [misapplied]

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 6

External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous perennial. Stems few-bunched, 20–100 cm. Leaves: blades 2–6 mm broad. Inflorescence a dense ovoid panicle 1.5–4 cm long, >1 cm in diameter. Spikelets 3–4 mm long; glumes silky over entire surface. Lemmas with an awn extending 2.5–3 mm beyond lemma tip, emanating from the middle (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Greenland to Alaska, south to CO and UT; Arctic regions and northern Eurasia.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 68

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist montane to subalpine meadows and in hot spring areas (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Pallister, G.L. 1974. The seasonal distribution and range use of bighorn sheep in the Beartooth Mountains, with special reference to the West Rosebud and Stillwater herds. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Mountain Foxtail — Alopecurus magellanicus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from