by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Mar 2024      ()
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Lagurus ovatus   (Hare's Tail Grass)

Lagurus ovatus  (POACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Apr-2006 (taxon update: Apr-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Lagurus ovatus - datasheet created on Apr-2006. Retrieved from on 02-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Lagurus ovatusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 81 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Lagurus nitens Lojac.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Poaceae Barnhart (=Gramineae) (The Grass Family)
152 species from the Poaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Hare's Tail Grass, Bunny Grass, Hare's Footgrass

Maltese name(s) :

Denb il-fenek

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

March – July

Colour of Flowers:

Green or White


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Maritime sands; more rarely on dry waste places inland.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Along roads, field margins, footpaths, abandoned fields, and less frequently in disturbed garigue or coastal areas
Botanical Description: More or less greyish-pubescent. Stems 8-50 cm, erect or ascending, simple or branched from the lower nodes. Leaves up to 10 mm wide, soft, long-acute; sheaths inflated; ligule up to 3 mm, obtuse or truncate, more or less lacerate, villous. Panicle 0.5-6 x 0.5-2 cm (excluding awns), very softly and densely hairy. Spikelets 7-9 mm (excluding awns), those at base of panicle mostly sterile. Glumes villous on the back; setaceous apex with hairs c. 2 mm. Lemma c. 3 mm (excluding awn and apical setae), lanceolate; awn 8-20 mm; apical setae 2-6 mm. Anthers c. 1.5 mm.
Chromosome number: 2n=14
Distributional range: S. Europe sometimes cultivated for ornament and a frequent casual in C. Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab(A) Ag Al Az(F G J L M P T) Bl(I M N) Bu dCa(C G H T) Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Ga(F) Gr He Hs(G S) IJ It Le Li Lu Ma Md(D M P) Sa Si(S) Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Br nCa(H) Cs aHb Ho aNo aSl]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (8 images)
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-0.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-1.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-2.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-3.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-4.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-5.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-6.
   Lagurus ovatus   -   Image Code: LGROV-7.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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