Quackgrass (State designated weed)

Quackgrass (State designated weed)

  • Elemus repens
  • Poaceae (Grass family)

Quackgrass was introduced from the Mediterranean area. It has spread over much of North America, adapting well to moist soils in cool temperate climates. Quackgrass reduces productivity in crops, rangelands and pastures. It is also a nuisance in lawns, ornamental landscaping and home gardens.

Growth Habit: An aggressive, early emerging perennial grass 1 to 3 feet tall that reproduces by seed, or spreads by a shallow mass of long, slender, branching rhizomes.

Leaves: Gray-green, flat and narrow, have small auricles (ear-like appendages) at the junction of blade and sheath. Leaf sheaths and the upper surface of leaf blades may be thinly covered with soft hairs. Spikelets are arranged in two long rows, borne flatwise to the stem.

Flowers: Florets are awnless, or with short straight awns.

Roots: Rhizomes are usually yellowish-white, sharp-pointed, somewhat fleshy; able to penetrate hard soils or even tubers and roots of other plants.

Status: State Designated Noxious Weed, Category 4 Fremont County. Widespread infestation. Control and maintenance of current weed infestations.

Control: Tilling or pulling are not very effective controls because any small piece of root is able to grow a new plant. Chemical controls are more effective. FCWP offers a 40 percent Cost Share on chemicals for controlling this species. Contact your local weed and pest office for treatment recommendations.

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