NC State Extension Publications

Description

Crowfootgrass is an annual grassy weed of turf that roots at the nodes. It is characterized by its unique seedhead of 5 or more spikelets that radiate outwards, resembling a crow's foot.

Cultural Control

Summer annual grass weeds germinate from late March through July depending on location. They flower in summer and either die in the fall or are killed by frost. These weeds invade thin turf quite easily, so a year round turf management program is important to help prevent these weeds from becoming a problem. Winter weed control is especially important because when these weeds begin to die out in the spring, thin turf occurs where the weeds were located. As the turfgrass begins to grow in the spring, so do summer annual grass weeds. Seedlings will fill in the bare, or thin turf areas before the turfgrass can recover in the spring.

Species Data

  • SEEDHEAD / FLOWER
  • VERNATION TYPE
  • LIGULE TYPE
    • membranous with fringe of hairs
  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • summer annual weed
  • AURICLE TYPE
  • LEAF BLADE TIP SHAPE
    • row of hairs extending outward from the margin on lower portion of leaf blade
      Figure 8
  • LEAF BLADE WIDTH
    • 0.08 - 0.35 inches (2 - 9 mm) wide
  • STOLON PRESENCE
    • absent
  • RHIZOME PRESENCE
    • absent
  • COLLAR TYPE
  • SHEATH MARGIN
  • SHEATH TYPE
    • flattened
Crowfootgrass seedhead

Figure 1. Crowfootgrass seedhead.

Crowfootgrass seedhead

Figure 2. Crowfootgrass seedhead.

Crowfootgrass seedhead

Figure 3. Crowfootgrass seedhead.

Crowfootgrass seedhead

Figure 4. Crowfootgrass seedhead.

Crowfootgrass vernation

Figure 5. Crowfootgrass vernation.

Crowfootgrass vernation

Figure 6. Crowfootgrass vernation.

Crowfoograss auricle

Figure 7. Crowfootgrass auricle.

Crowfootgrass leaf blade

Figure 8. Crowfootgrass leaf blade.

Crowfootgrass collar

Figure 9. Crowfootgrass collar.

Crowfootgrass sheath margin

Figure 10. Crowfootgrass sheath margin.

Author

Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist
Crop and Soil Sciences

Publication date: Nov. 8, 2017

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