Scientific NameDigitaria ciliaris
Other Common Names:
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Digitaria sanguinalis var. ciliaris
Southern Crabgrass can grow in any open ground that is sunny, in turf, flowerbeds, etc. It sprouts up in March (as the soil warms up) and grows through to frost (October or November). Southern crabgrass can root from the lower nodes giving it a decumbent habit.
Southern crabgrass leaves are around 2-7 inches long and less than an inch wide. The leaves are occasionally pubescent on the upper surface but the sheaths are densely pubescent. This grassy weed has a small membranous ligule with a frayed edge.
Southern Crabgrass is a valuable temporary summer forage crop, particularly on open land that is planted to vegetables or row crops, and rotated into pasture for livestock grazing or haying.
Flower Seed Head
Seedheads have 2-9 spikelets that are around 1-8 inches long.
Seeds are light brown and are less than 1mm wide and approximately 4-5mm long.
Southern crabgrass occurs northward on the coastal plain occasionally to Connecticut, more common southward east of the Appalachian region, throughout Florida, extending west into Texas and north into Kansas and Nebraska. Also occurs in the West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America.
Leaf Hair on Upper Surface
hairs from base to tip,
hairs on basal half only
rolled in bud
Mature Leaf Width
less than 5 mm,
6 to 15 mm
flat or oval
less than 1 mm,