Quackgrass

June 15, 2015

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

Life cycle

Erect, rhizomatous perennial.

patch of quackgrass
Patch of quackgrass.

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, claw-like auricles are present at the collar region.

Ligule

Very short, membranous ligule.

quackgrass collar region
Quackgrass collar region.

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 2- 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.

sharp-tipped rhizome of quackgrass
Sharp-tipped rhizome of quackgrass.

Reproduction

Seeds and rhizomes

quackgrass seedhead
Quackgrass seedhead.

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