Dactylis is a genus of Eurasian and North African plants in the bluegrass subfamily within the grass family.[3][4]Dactylis is native to North Africa, they are found throughout the world, and are an invasive species.[5] They are known in English as cock’s-foot or cocksfoot grasses, also sometimes as orchard grasses.

genus of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae

Dactylis glomerata in Dornoch, Scotland
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Supertribe: Poodae
Tribe: Poeae
Subtribe: Dactylidinae
Genus: Dactylis
Species and subspecies[1]
  • Dactylis glomerata
    • Dactylis glomerata subsp. glomerata
    • Dactylis glomerata subsp. hackelii
    • Dactylis glomerata subsp. hispanica
    • Dactylis glomerata subsp. lobata
  • Dactylis juncinella
  • Dactylis marina
  • TrachypoaBubani
  • DactilisNeck.

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The genus has been treated as containing only a single species Dactylis glomerata by many authors, treating variation in the genus at only subspecific rank within D. glomerata,[6][7][8] but more recently, there has been a trend to accept two species,[9] while some authors accept even more species in the genus, particularly island endemic species in Macaronesia.[10][11][12][13]

Dactylis species are perennial grasses, forming dense tussocks growing to 15–140 centimetres tall, with leaves 20–50 cm long and up to 1.5 cm broad, and distinctive tufted triangular flowerheads comprising a panicle 10–15 cm long, turning pale grey-brown at seed maturity. The spikelets are 5–9 mm long, typically containing two to five flowers. The stems have a flattened base, which distinguishes them from many other grasses.[7][14][15][16]

Accepted species[2]
Formerly included[2]

Many species now considered better suited to other genera: AeluropusAmmochloaCutandiaDesmostachyaDinebraElytrophorusEragrostisFestucaKoeleriaOdysseaPoaRostrariaSchismusSpartinaTriboliumTrisetariaWangenheimia

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