6. Phalaris paradoxa L. (Medit.) – A rather rare and ephemeral alien. Known in Belgium since at least the first half of the 19th century. Formerly mainly introduced with wool but at present probably exclusively associated with cereals. Like Phalaris minor it is now chiefly found near grainstores, on grain dumps, by railway tracks,… In parts of the British Isles Phalaris paradoxa is increasingly recorded as a weed of arable land as well (Groom 2010).
Two more or less distinct varieties are sometimes distinguished (but not in Euro+Med Plantbase): var. paradoxa and var. praemorsa (Lam.) Coss. et Durieu (syn.: P. praemorsa Lam.). Both have been recorded in Belgium (in the past as well as at present), the former perhaps being the more regular alien. They are distinguished in the following couplet:
- Most staminate (or sterile) florets of each group not reduced and malformed. Inflorescence rather wide === var. paradoxa
- All staminate (or sterile) florets of each group much reduced and malformed. Inflorescence narrowly cylindrical === var. praemorsa
The very similar but perennial Phalaris coerulescens – recorded before 1950 as an alien in Belgium – could have been overlooked. The wings of its bisexual floret are entire or irregularly crenate (in stead of provided with a prominent tooth).
Bowen H.J.M. (1985) More on Phalaris paradoxa and related species. BSBI News 39: 8.
Groom Q. (2010) Phalaris paradoxa (Awned Canary-grass) has no awns. BSBI News 115: 51.
Verloove F. & Vandenberghe C. (1995) Nieuwe en interessante voederadventieven voor de Belgische en Noordfranse flora, hoofdzakelijk in 1994. Dumortiera 61-62: 23-45.