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Elytrigia repens - Poaceae Family

quackgrass_1_tile   quackgrass_2_tile  quackgrass_3_tile  quackgrass_4_tile  


  • Flowers: The seed head grows to about 3 to 8 inches long and appear in July.
  • Seeds:  Spreads both by seed and rhizomes.
  • Leaves:  The leaf blades are up to a ½ inch wide.  Near the tip, the leaves have a band-like constriction.
  • Flowering Time:  June to August.
  • Life cycle:  Quackgrass is a 1-3 foot tall rhizomatous perennial that spreads by rhizomes and seeds. The rhizomes are creamy white to yellowish colored and pointed.


  • Quackgrass is a highly competitive agricultural weed.  It can significantly reduce crop yields, and seed contamination of seed grain crops reduces the value of the harvest.


Most effective control methods

  • A good healthy lawn will outcompete Quackgrass and reduce the likelihood of its establishment.  One approach to do this is to increase nitrogen fertilizer and mowing.
  • Chemical applications can yield good results if repeated and used with reseeding.  Products containing glyphosate are effective but must be repeated.
  • Because Quackgrass is a rhizomatous plant, mechanical controls that sever rhizomes usually result in an increase in new plants. An aggressive rhizome system will spread into adjacent areas. Under good conditions, a small patch of Quackgrass can increase 6 feet in diameter during one growing season. 


Large Images


Steve Dewey, Utah State University,




Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University,

Quackgrass: stems and foliage



Doug Doohan, Ohio State University OARDC,

Quackgrass: root system



Steve Dewey, Utah State University,

Quackgrass: infestation



Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University,

Quackgrass: stem with leaf collar 



Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University,

Quackgrass: seed



Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft.,

Quackgrass: flowers



Steve Dewey, Utah State University,

Quackgrass: root system


  • Quackgrass Fact Sheet

  • References

    Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. (2013, December 19). Elymus repens. Retrieved from

    DiTomaso, J.M., G.B. Kyser et al. (2013). Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States [PDF file]. Weed Research and Information Center, University of California. Retrieved from View PDF

    Invasive Species Compendium. (2018, March 27). Elymus repens (quackgrass). Retrieved from

    Thurston County Noxious Weeds Program. (2009, November). Quackgrass [PDF file]. Retrieved from View PDF

    University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. Quackgrass (elytrigia repens). Retrieved from