Fox-Tail Grass, or Alope-curus, L. a genus of plants consisting of 18 species, of which Dr. Smith enumerates four, and Dr. Withering six, to be natives of England: the principal of these are the following:
1. The pratensis, or Meadow Fox-tail-grass, which is perennial, grows in meadows and pastures, and flowers in the month of May or June. This plant thrives naturally in moist soils only ; it affords the best grass that can be sown on low meadows, or in boggy places which have been newly drained. Its seeds ripen early, and are easily collected. Although sheep pasturing on it, are said to acquire a coarser fleece, yet it furnishes -a most grateful food to cattle ; but, as the larvae of a species of flies devour the seeds to so great an extent, that in many spikes scarcely one will be found perfect, its cultivation is rather precarious. 'These insects are very minute, of an orange colour, and are the prey of the Cimex campestris, or Field-bug, whose mouth is peculiarly formed for searching the husks of grasses.
2. The bullosus, or Bulbous Fox-tail-grass, which is perennial, grows in moist marshy situations, and flowers in the months of June and July. This species is particularly adapted for consolidating the surface of fenny situations. Hence it deserves to be more generally cultivated in such soils, in order to prevent them from being poached by the feet of cattle.
3. The agrestis, or Slender Fox-tail-grass, which is likewise perennial, grows in corn-fields or on road sides, and flowers in the month of July. This plant is pro-vincially called black-bent; and, though a very troublesome weed, when growing among wheat, it might be sown with advantage as a meadow-grass; for, in its green state, it is much relished by cattle; and Bechstein asserts, that cows fed with it, give an unusual quantity of milk.