CPC Plant Profile: Sonoma Shortawn Foxtail
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Plant Profile

Sonoma Shortawn Foxtail (Alopecurus aequalis var. sonomensis)

  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Poaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 148177
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 09/22/2021

The Sonoma shortawn foxtail is a sub-species of the Alopecurus aequalis or shortawn foxtail. Unlike the rest of the shortawn foxtails, which are widespread across America and Canada, A. aequalis var. sonomensis is endemic to the Sonoma and Marin counties in the northern California coastline. Belonging to the grass family, it prefers freshwater wetlands and marshes and typically grows to be 50-75 cm tall. It is a flexible, slender, and produces white, tufted blooms between May and July under natural conditions. Out of 16 known historical populations of A. aequalis sonomensis, there are only 5 left with approximately 200 surviving individual plants in total. Since being added to the endangered species list, it has since been updated as a critically endangered plant species. Current threats include aggressive non-native plants, trampling, and cattle grazing.

Participating Institutions
  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 4 accessions of Alopecurus aequalis var. sonomensis in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 3477 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 01/01/2010

Competition from nonnative plant species , trampling and grazing y cattle, low regeneration, inadequate regulatory mechanisms

  • 01/01/2010

five natural populations; three sites in Sonoma County are privately owned, and the two sites on the Point Reyes National Seashore are federally owned.

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Taxon Alopecurus aequalis var. sonomensis
Authority Rubtzoff
Family Poaceae
CPC Number 92
ITIS 182515
Common Names Sonoma Alopecurus | Sonoma shortawn foxtail
Associated Scientific Names Alopecurus aequalis var. sonomensis | Alopecurus magellanicus
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

permanent freshwater wetlands

Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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