Phalaris minor


Lesser canarygrass seedszoom...
Lesser canarygrass seeds
Young lesser canarygrass plantzoom...
Young lesser canarygrass plant
Lesser canarygrasszoom...
Lesser canarygrass
Lesser canarygrass in flowerzoom...
Lesser canarygrass in flower

Scientific Name

Phalaris minor Retz.

Common Names

English: Lesser canarygrass; German: Kleines Glanzgras; French: Phalaris mineur; Spanish: Alpistillo



Winter annual propagated by seeds.

Characteristic Features

Glumes not as conspicuously striped as in P. brachystachys.

Young Plant

The youngest leaf is rolled, the plant more or less slender with stems up to 90 cm (35.43 inch) tall.


Erect or decumbent, caespitose.


Leaves long, linear, acuminate. Ligule is an oblong hyaline membrane, about 2-3(-5) mm (0.078 - 0.118 - 0.197 inch) long, often truncate and/or fringed.
No auricles, sheath smooth.

Propagatio Organs


Panicle more or less protruding or entirely protruding from the uppermost swollen leaf sheath, ovate to oblong, 5 - 8 cm (1.97 - 3.15 inch) long, green.
Spikelets green, broadly lanceolate on short pedicels, shining, 4 -6 mm (0.16 - 0.24 inch) long, strongly laterally compressed.
Glumes 4 - 6 mm ( (0.16 - 0.24 inch) long, fertile lemma lanceolate about 3 mm (0.118 inch) long, more or less lustrous; sterile lemma solitary, about (0.2-)1(-1.8) mm (0.008 - 0.039 - 0.07 inch) long. Glumes subequal, with a broad erose-dentate or entire wing near the tip. Hermaphrodite florets.

Flowering Period



Fruit free from both lemma and palea, elliptical to ovoid, laterally compressed, 2-2.3 mm (0.08 - 0.09 inch) long, 1.2-1.4 mm (0.047 - 0.055 inch) wide, not grooved, glabrous.
Hilum 1-1.2 mm (0.039 - 0.047 inch) long, linear.
Embryo 0.5-1.2 mm (0.019 - 0.047 inch) long, not waisted.


Seeds germinate best between 10-20 °C (50 - 68°F). No germination at temperatures below 5 °C (41°F) or above 30 °C (86°F).

Viability Of Seeds

Short lived seed bank.


By seeds.





P. minor prefers medium-to-heavy, moist and well drained soils, but it will also grow under alkaline and saline conditions.


Agricultural Importance

Lesser canarygrass is a serious weed in rice. Due to its high competitiveness it infests many crops in all arable continents.


Integrated Crop Management

Zero-tillage may reduce P. minor.

Copyright © Bayer CropScience