Summary:Hardy, temperate, perennial turf grass with yellow rhizomes and an erect, narrow seed head, 8-17 mm long with alternate spikelets. The leaves are slightly rough and narrow.
Leaves:Blade - Narrow, flat, thin, rough to touch on top, 60-300 mm long x 6-10 mm wide. Tip pointed. Sides parallel. Base sheathing. Hairless or sparsely hairy on the upper surface.
Stems:100-1000 mm long, stiff, spreading, erect or curved at the base or bent at the nodes. Rhizomatous. Hairless.
Flower head:Narrow, dark to dull green, loose to dense spike, 50-300 mm long. Tough, persistent axis (rachis). Spikelets single and closely pressed against the axis in shallow, alternate notches in the rachis. Main axis is rarely hairy.
Flowers:Spikelets - 3-8 flowered, oblong to egg shaped, 10-20 mm long, flattened, stalkless.
Roots:Long, yellowish, creeping rhizomes.
Key Characters:Lemma about 10 mm long including the awn.
Reproduction:By seed and creeping rhizomes.
Flowering times:October to March in SA.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:Spread mainly by rhizome fragments and deliberate planting.
Origin and History:Europe. Temperate Asia.
Distribution:NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Soil:Sandy soils and heavy soils.
Detrimental:Weed of vegetables, orchards, vineyards, cultivation, rotation crops, perennial crops, grass land, wetlands and disturbed areas.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:In cropping areas, Quack Grass can usually be reduced to insignificant levels by using glyphosate for spray topping, summer weed control and pre plant weed control.
Thresholds:Low levels can often lead to significant crop yield reductions due to direct competition for nitrogen and consumption of early season or carryover moisture.
Eradication strategies:Burn the grass to reduce thatch and encourage young growth ready for spraying.
Herbicide resistance:Biological Control:
Plants of similar appearance:Agropyron scabrum is very similar but has 6-12 florets per spikelet.
References:Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P33. Diagram.