Quackgrass

(Elymus repens)

 

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© Elizabeth Bella
© Elizabeth Bella
© Ohio State University
© Iowa State University

Quackgrass (Elymus repens) is a perennial grass that is native to Europe. It grows from underground rhizomes to an unmowed height of 1 to 4 feet with erect stems. The rhizomes are yellowish-white, sharp pointed and somewhat fleshy. Both the leaf sheath and blade are hairless or sparsely hairy. The seeds germinate in the fall and spring and plants can produce seeds more than 1 time per season. Spikelets are in 2 long rows and borne flatwise to the stem. The florets have short, straight awns or are awnless. The leaves of Quackgrass are constricted near the tips. Leave blades are 0.25 to 0.5 inches wide, flat, pointed, with small ear-like appendages at the junction of the blade and the sheath. Quackgrass’s flowers appear from June through August and resemble wheat head in a slender spike. Each Quackgrass plant produces about 25 seeds. These seeds remain viable for 3 to 5 years in the soil.

Quackgrass Fact Sheet pdf file