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Weed Identification

tumble windmill grass



Scientific Name

Chloris verticillata

Other Common Names:

wind mill grass


Tumble Windmillgrass is found in dry soils and is native to prairies and plains. Plants sprout from enlarged roots and crowns and grow from May until frost.


Leaves are born on tall sheaths and the actual blade is often shorter than the internode. Leaves are very flat and folded in the bud. Tillers are very thin and flattened. The ligure is hairy. Leaves often resist mowing and will strip and whiten if the mower blade is dull.

Identifying Characteristics

Windmill grass is a weedy species that can be a problem in lawns. Cattle will not consume it. It reproduces by seeds and by rooting at the nodes. The long sheath and flattened tillers and leaves are characteristics of this grass.

Flower Seed Head

Seedheads consists of slender spikes in a group of 8-13 that arise in a tight cluster but quickly open and are wide spread. Each spike is about 5-11 cm long. The seedhead is often naked at the base and spikelets are clustered at the apex of the culm. The flowering stalk is round, slender and lacks hairs. When plants are mature and not mown, the inflorescence will break away and act as a tumbleweed.

Seed Fruit

Seeds of Tumble Windmillgrass are grain free within the lemma and palea. Fresh seed are often tinted red.

Where Found

Lawns, road sides, meadows, and pastures.

Life Cycle


Plant Type