T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lagurus ovatus (Hare's-tail grass)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Monocots
(Unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Tribe: Agrostideae
Genus: Lagurus
Species: L. ovatus
Binomial name: Lagurus ovatus
Common name: Hare's-tail grass. Bunny Tails.

Lagurus ovatus is an annual species of grass indigenous to the Mediterranean. It is an escaped weed in many parts of the world.
Hare's tail (Lagurus ovatus) is regarded as an environmental weed. It invades coastal sand dunes, dry coastal vegetation, lowland grasslands, grassy woodlands and wetlands in the temperate regions of New Zealand.
It is a relatively small, short-lived, grass usually growing 5-50 cm tall.
its softly hairy leaves are tufted at the base of the plant and alternately arranged along the stems.
During spring and early summer it has slender upright flowering stems which are topped with an egg-shaped or slightly elongated seed-head (1-6 cm long and 1-2 cm wide). These whitish seed -heads are feathery in appearance and usually persist for several months after flowering.
The leaves consist of a leaf sheath, which partially encloses the stem, and a leaf spreading blade. These leaves are tufted at the base of the plant and alternately arranged along the stems. The leaf sheaths are hairy (i. e. pubescent) and where the leaf sheath meets the leaf blade there is a small membranous structure (about 2 mm long) topped with tiny hairs. The leaf blades are flat (up to 20 cm long and 1.5 cm wide) and are covered with short hairs (i. e. pubescent).Flowering occurs mainly during spring and early summer, but the seed -heads usually persist for several months after flowering.  When they are mature, the tiny flowers detach from the rest of the flower spikelet, leaving the feathery bracts on the seed-head. 
This species reproduces by seed, which may be dispersed by wind, water, animals and in contaminated agricultural produce.