Tragus Haller

Tragus is a genus of seven or eight species that are mainly distributed in the Old World tropics (predominantly Africa). Sulekic & Zapater (2001) recently described a new species that is claimed to be endemic to Argentina (Tragus andicola Zapater & Sulekic). One species, Tragus racemosus, extends to the Mediterranean area. Several have weedy tendencies and now widely occur beyond their original distribution range.

In Belgium species of Tragus were among the typical wool aliens in the Vesdre valley around Verviers. Their spikelet clusters form little burrs with hooked spines that easily adhere in sheep wool. The genus was critically reviewed in Belgium by Fasseaux (1949).

Additional aliens: Tragus australianus S.T. Blake (Aus., wool alien), T. berteronianus Schult. (Afr., As., wool alien) and T. koelerioides Aschers. (S-Afr., wool alien).


Anton A.M. (1981) The genus Tragus (Gramineae). Kew Bull. 36: 55-61.

Fasseaux W. (1949) Les Tragus adventices en Belgique. Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg. 82: 67-70.

Hilu K.W. & Alice L.A. (2001) A phylogeny of Chloridoideae (Poaceae) based on matK sequences. Syst. Bot. 26: 386-405.

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

Jansen P. & Wachter W.H. (1918) Floristische aanteekeningen. XV. Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. 1918: 90-110.

Sulekic A.A. & Zapater M.A. (2001) El género Tragus (Poaceae, Zoisieae) en la Argentina. Darwiniana 39(3-4): 247-254.

Wipff J.K. (2003) Tragus. In: Barkworth M.E. & al. (eds.), Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 25. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 278-281.

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