Elymus repens (L.) Gould

Life cycle

Erect, rhizomatous perennial.

quackgrass patch
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 ligule
Quackgrass collar region.


Erect and clump-forming, up to 4 feet tall. Plants spread by thin, yellowish to white, sharp-tipped rhizomes.

quackgrass rhizome
Sharp-tipped rhizome of quackgrass.

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.

quackgrass seedhead
Quackgrass seedhead.


Seeds and rhizomes.

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