Quackgrass (Elymus repens)

Quackgrass

Elymus repens (L.) Gould
Poaceae (Grass family)

Life cycle

Erect, rhizomatous perennial.

Leaves

Leaves are rolled in the bud, hairless to sparsely hairy above and up to 8 inches long. Leaf sheaths are hairless except those near the base, which may be sparsely hairy. Clasping, clawlike auricles are present at the collar region.

Ligule

Very short,membranous ligule.

Stems

Erect and clump-forming, up to 4 feet tall. Plants spread by thin, yellowish to white, sharp-tipped rhizomes. 

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead is a two- to 10-inch-long, slender, unbranched spike made up of several alternating spikelets arranged edgewise on the stem. Each spikelet contains up to eight straw-colored, lance-shaped seeds. Each seed has a short to prominent awn. 

Reproduction

Seeds and rhizomes.

Patch-of-quackgrass-300x225
Patch of quackgrass
Quackgrass-seedhead-300x200
Quackgrass seedhead
Quackgrass-ligule-300x225
Quackgrass ligule
Quackgrass-rhizome50-300x200
Quackgrass rhizome

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Plant & Pest Diagnostics

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