Agropyron cristatum

1. Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. subsp. pectinatum (Bieb.) Tsvelev (syn.: Agropyron pectiniforme Roem. et Schult.) (Euras., N-Afr.) – A rare and ephemeral alien. Probably first collected as an exceptional wool alien in the valley of river Vesdre in 1947. Soon afterwards (in 1948) also seen in Marchienne-au-Pont (Druet & Duvigneaud 1951). In the past decades more regularly recorded, always obviously associated with introduced cereals. Most records are from the port areas of Antwerpen and Gent (near grain elevators or by railway tracks), the most recent apparently from 2006, 2011 and 2013 (Amerikadok, port of Antwerpen).

Agropyron cristatum is a very variable taxon and many microspecies have been segregated (see for instance Bor 1968, Tsvelev 1984). All Belgian collections seen belong to subsp. pectinatum (Bieb.) Tsvelev, characterised by glabrous spikelets. It is the most widespread taxon of this species-complex and the usual alien in western Europe.

A similar species from this group, Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult. with spikelets not pectinately arranged, is sometimes sown for soil stabilisation (Wilhalm & Scholz 2000). According to Barkworth (2007) this species is hardly distinct and better included in Agropyron cristatum.

Agropyron cristatum; Drawing S.Bellanger

Agropyron cristatum, Port of Antwerpen, Samga at Amerikadok, unloading quay for cereals, June 2011, R. Barendse


Herbarium specimen


Selected literature:

Barkworth M.E. (2007) Agropyron. In: Barkworth M.E. & al. (eds.), Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 24: 277-279. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford.

Böger K. (1993) Neue Funde der adventiven Kamm-Quecke Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertner subsp. pectinatum (Bieb.) Tzvelev im nördlichen Oberrheingebiet. Hess. Florist. Briefe 41: 27-30.

Bor N.L. (1968) Gramineae. In: Townsend & al. (eds.), Flora of Iraq, vol. 9. Ministry of Agriculture, Baghdad: VI + 588 p.

Druet J. & Duvigneaud J. (1951) Note sur quelques phanérogames adventices. Lejeunia 15: 59-62.

Kerguélen M., Chas E. & F. Plonka (1989) Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertner, genre et espèce nouveaux pour la France. Bull. Soc. Bot. Centre-Ouest N.S. 20: 7-10.

Krull K. (2002) Eine schöne Quecke: Agropyron cristatum. Bot. Rundbr. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 36: 103-104.

Lambinon J. (1959) Contribution à l’étude de la flore adventice de la Belgique. II. Etude sur diverses Gramineae. Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg. 91: 179-195.

Tsvelev N.N. (1984) Grasses of the Soviet Union, part 1 and 2. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam: XVI + 1196 p.

Wilhalm T. & Scholz H. (2000) Ein bemerkenswertes Vorkommen von Psathyrostachys juncea und Agropyron desertorum (Poaceae) in der inneralpinen Trockenvegetation. Ber. Bayer. Bot. Ges. 69-70: 7-17.

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