South Dakota Native Plant Research
Poaceae : Phleum pratense

Poaceae : Phleum pratense


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Phleum pratense is a tufted perennial grass with smooth, hollow, erect, bulbous-based culms that grow 55-140 cm in height. The leaves are rolled in the bud and flattened at maturity. The blades are 3-27 cm long, up to 8 mm wide and occasionally rough to the touch. The leaf sheaths are open with a membranous ligule, 2-5 mm long, V-shaped at the front, white, and ragged at the top. The inflorescence is a cylindrical spike-like raceme of single-flowered spikelets, 2-25 cm long and < 1 cm wide. Each spikelet has a pair of equal bracts (glumes), 3 to 4 mm long including the awn. The fruit is a single grain, often retained within the glumes. Timothy blooms from late May into early August in pastures, along roadsides and in ditches scattered throughout South Dakota. This species was introduced as a forage grass and has become naturalized in many areas.

Additional Notes

As Timothy is an introduced species, it is not recommended for native plant gardens.

Poaceae : Phleum pratense