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

Life cycle

Erect, rhizomatous perennial.

patch of quackgrass
Patch of quackgrass.


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.


Very short, membranous ligule.

quackgrass collar region
Quackgrass collar region.


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.


Seeds and rhizomes

quackgrass seedhead
Quackgrass seedhead.

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