Scientific Name: Echinochloa crus-galli

Common Name: barnyardgrass

Other Common Names: Japanese millet, barnyard grass, cockspur, water grass

Synonyms: Echinochloa crus-galli ssp. Spiralis, Panicum crus-galli

Habit: Barnyardgrass is a tufted erect summer annual grass that grows up to 5 feet tall. Germinates from seeds starting in late winter or early spring throughout the summer and prefer moist and wet areas.

Leaves: Leaves range from 4 to 20 inches in length and may be 5-30 mm wide with a prominent white mid-vein. No hair is present on the leaves surface but are rough to touch on both surfaces. Leaves are rolled in the shoot and no ligule or auricles are present. Leave are keeled toward the basal portions of the leaf. Sheathes are flattened and smooth. A few short hairs may occur at the leaves base. Leaf tips are sharp pointed and edges are rough.

Identifying Characteristics: One of the few grassy weeds in which no ligule is present. It is a clump forming grass that has a fibrous root system.

Flower Seed Head: Seedhead a terminal, nodding panicle ranging from 4 to 16 inches in length with numerous appressed or spreading branches. The lower larger ones rebranch. Panicles are comprised of individual spikelets that may develop a 5 to 10 mm long terminal bristle. Panicles are fringelike and bear long bristles. Seedheads are green to purple in color.

Seed Fruit: Seed is shiny, oval and tan to brown in color.

Where Found: Barnyardgrass, Echinochloa crus-galli, is a native of Asia and is considered the world's worst weed in rice. It also can be found in other agronomic crops throughout the U.S. into Canada and northern Mexico.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: none

  • Length: none

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: more than 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round