Golden Foxtail Grass Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureovariegatus' (v)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
meadow foxtail 'Aureovariegatus'


The Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureovariegatus', commonly known as Golden Variegated Foxtail Grass, is a grass that catches the eye with its striking foliage. The leaves are long and slender, with a light green base color that is beautifully complemented by creamy yellow stripes running along the edges, giving it a variegated appearance. This striping effect creates a bright and lively look in the grass, making it a standout choice for adding light to a garden's palette. The plant forms a clumping habit, with its leaves gracefully arching from the center. The tips of the leaves are soft and may taper to a fine point, enhancing the delicate texture of this ornamental grass. During certain periods, it may bear narrow, cylindrical flower spikes that resemble the tail of a fox in shape, hence the name "Foxtail". These flowers often have a soft, fuzzy texture and can add an airy, whimsical touch to the plant's overall appearance. The combination of its variegated leaves and elegant form makes Golden Variegated Foxtail Grass an attractive option for gardeners looking to introduce a splash of color, movement, and texture to their landscape. It can create a striking contrast when planted among plants with solid green foliage or serve as a backdrop to a colorful array of flowers. Its distinctive look can also be enjoyed up close in containers or as an accent in mixed borders.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Yellow Foxtail, Golden Meadow Foxtail, Variegated Meadow Foxtail Grass

    • Common names

      Alopecurus pratensis var. aureovariegatus (Voss) Tzvelev, Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureus'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Meadow foxtail is not known to be toxic to humans. There is no well-documented evidence of toxicity in humans from ingesting this grass species, and it is generally considered safe. As with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities can occur, so it is advisable to avoid ingesting any plant material if you are uncertain about its effects.

    • To pets

      Meadow foxtail is generally not considered toxic to pets. It is a common grass species and does not typically pose a risk when ingested by animals such as dogs and cats. However, grass awns from meadow foxtail can sometimes cause physical injury to pets if they become lodged in the skin, ears, eyes, or gastrointestinal tract. This is a mechanical injury rather than poisoning, and thus, care should be taken to prevent pets from accessing areas with long, seed-bearing grasses that could cause such issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental appeal: Adds a decorative touch to gardens with its variegated leaves and attractive golden green color.
    • Wildlife habitat: Provides shelter and nesting material for birds and small animals.
    • Erosion control: Helps prevent soil erosion with its dense, fibrous root system.
    • Low maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Drought tolerance: Can survive in dry conditions once established, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Cold hardiness: Thrives in cooler climates and can withstand cold temperatures, making it a versatile landscaping choice.
    • Growth habit: Forms dense clumps that can be utilized to fill in spaces and create ground cover in the garden.
    • Soil improvement: Its root system can help to break up heavy soils and improve soil structure over time.
    • Adaptable to a variety of settings: Can be used in urban, suburban, and rural landscapes, including meadows, prairies, and informal garden settings.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Meadow Foxtail 'Aureovariegatus' can be used in basketry where its variegated foliage can add a unique, colorful accent to handcrafted baskets.
    • The grass can be dried and utilized in floral arrangements for its texture and variegation, providing a natural and rustic touch.
    • It serves as an excellent plant for creating themed gardens, such as Japanese or Zen gardens, due to its elegant and structured form.
    • Meadow Foxtail 'Aureovariegatus' can be used for educational purposes in schools or botanical gardens to teach about grass variation and plant breeding.
    • The grass can be used in living walls or green roofs where its hardiness and low maintenance qualities are beneficial.
    • It is sometimes used in craft projects, for example, for making grass dolls or other decorative items.
    • The plant's sturdy, upright nature makes it suitable for use as a natural fence or border in garden design.
    • Meadow Foxtail 'Aureovariegatus' can play a role in natural pest management by attracting predatory insects that feed on common garden pests.
    • This variety of grass can be incorporated into animal habitats and enclosures such as those for rabbits or chickens, to provide natural foraging material.
    • As a component of a sensory garden, it can stimulate the senses with its movement and soft texture when touched.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Foxtail Grass is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Foxtail Grass is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Fertility and Prosperity: Alopecurus pratensis, commonly known as Meadow Foxtail, often symbolizes fertility due to its lush and vigorous growth in meadows, which are traditionally associated with abundant and fertile land. The healthy and fast growth of this plant suggests prosperity and the thriving of life.
    • Adaptability: As Meadow Foxtail thrives in various conditions from dry to wet soils, it symbolizes adaptability and the ability to thrive in diverse environments and situations.
    • New Beginnings and Hope: The emergence of Meadow Foxtail in the spring makes it a sign of new beginnings and hope. It represents the start of a new cycle of growth and the awakening of nature after winter.
    • Resilience: The capacity of Meadow Foxtail to withstand various weather conditions, including cold winters, symbolizes resilience and the strength to withstand hardships.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The perennial grass known as Golden Foxtail Grass should be watered deeply, but the frequency depends on the weather and soil moisture content. During hot or dry periods, water once or twice a week, ensuring that the soil is moistened to a depth of at least an inch. In cooler or wet climates, reduce watering to prevent waterlogging, possibly to once every two weeks. Aim to provide about 0.5 to 1 gallons of water per square yard during each watering session to maintain consistent moisture, which is crucial for this plant's health.

  • sunLight

    Golden Foxtail Grass thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, it should be planted in a spot that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. While it can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can result in less vigorous growth and diminished foliage color.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Golden Foxtail Grass is hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures. It grows best in temperatures between 50°F and 75°F. However, it can survive in temperatures as low as -20°F and as high as 90°F. The key is to avoid extreme heat for prolonged periods, as it can stress the grass.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Golden Foxtail Grass involves trimming back the foliage in early spring to make way for new growth. Cut back the grass to about 3 to 4 inches above the ground before new shoots begin to emerge. This annual pruning keeps the plant looking tidy and encourages healthy, vibrant growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Golden Foxtail Grass requires well-draining soil with a mix of loam, compost, and sand ensuring proper nutrient content and moisture retention. The ideal soil pH for this ornamental grass is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Golden Foxtail Grass does not typically require frequent repotting and can be done every 2-3 years as it slowly spreads. It's best to repot in the spring just before the growing season begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Golden Foxtail Grass thrives in average humidity conditions typical of outdoor environments and does not require any special humidity adjustments when cultivated under normal circumstances.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light; water moderately.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade, moist soil, tolerates cold.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureovariegatus', commonly known as the Golden Variegated Foxtail Grass, begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically occurring in early spring when temperatures are conducive to growth. Following germination, the grass develops a root system and shoots that emerge as blades of grass, featuring the unique variegated coloring. Throughout the spring and into summer, the grass enters a vegetative state, growing in height and producing tillers, which increase its clump size. In late spring or early summer, it reaches the reproductive stage, producing flowering spikes that resemble foxtails, and subsequently, seeds form for dispersal. After setting seed, the plant may enter a period of dormancy during late summer or fall, particularly in areas with colder climates, preserving energy for the upcoming season. As a perennial, the Golden Variegated Foxtail Grass will regrow from its root structure the following spring, repeating the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Alopecurus pratensis 'Aureovariegatus', commonly known as golden variegated foxtail grass, is typically propagated through division rather than seed, to maintain the variegation of the leaves. The ideal time for division is in the early spring as the grass emerges from dormancy. To propagate, carefully dig up an established clump, ensuring a good root ball is intact. The clump can then be gently teased apart or cut with a sharp knife into smaller sections, each with a portion of the root system. These divisions should then be replanted at the same depth they were originally growing, spaced about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) apart, to allow sufficient room for growth. Watering the new divisions well helps establish them in their new location. This method is favored as it ensures that the ornamental characteristics of this particular cultivar are preserved.