Phleum L.

Phleum is a small genus of ca. 15 species, mostly native to Eurasia. Four species are native in Belgium as well: Phleum arenarium L., P. nodosum L., P. phleoides (L.) Karst. and P. pratense L. (Lambinon & al. 2004). Some species are important forage grasses, especially Phleum pratense (Mabberley 2008).

1. Perennial grasses (native) === Phleum nodosum, P. phleoides and P. pratense

1. Annual grasses, easily uprooted === 2

2. Glumes herbaceous, long ciliate on the keel. Spikelets large, more than 3 mm long === 3

2. Glumes coriaceous or more or less herbaceous, not ciliate on the keel, scabrous. Spikelets small, less than 2,5 mm long === 4

3. Anthers small, usually less than 1 mm long. Glumes acute-mucronate (native) === P. arenarium

3. Anthers larger, usually over 1,5 mm long. Glumes long acuminate and shortly awned === Phleum exaratum

4. Glumes truncate and swollen at apex, abruptly contracted in a short mucro, coriaceous. Spikelets more or less cordate in outline === P. paniculatum

4. Glumes gradually tapered to apex, more or less herbaceous. Spikelets elliptic in outline === P. subulatum

Additional aliens: Phleum echinatum Host (Medit., wool alien) and P. hirsutum Honck. (syn.: P. michelii All.) (Eur., vector unknown).



Barkworth M.E. (2007) Phleum. In: Barkworth M.E. & al. (eds.), Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 24: 670-675. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford.

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

Bor N.L. (1970) Gramineae. In: Rechinger K.H. (ed.), Flora of Iran, vol. 70. Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz: 573 p. + 72 plates.

Conert H.J. (1984) Beiträge zur Kenntnis der mitteleuropäischen Lieschgräser (Phleum, Poaceae). Jahrbücher des Nassauischen Vereins für Naturkunde 107: 79-108.

El-Gazzar A., Eisa A.M. & Khattab A.A. (2016) Computer-generated key and descriptions of Phleum species (Poaceae). Webbia DOI: 10.1080/00837792.2015.1119955 [available online at:]

Humphries C.J. (1978) Notes on the genus Phleum. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 76: 337-340.

Humphries C.J. (1980) Phleum. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 239-241.

Lambinon J. (1981) (596) Proposition de rejet Phleum exaratum Hochst. ex Griseb. Taxon 30(1): 363.

Jansen P. (1951) Flora Neerlandica, deel 1, aflevering 2. KNBV, Amsterdam: 272 p.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith