Scientific Name: Paspalum dilatatum

Common Name: dallis grass

Other Common Names: herbe de miel, herbe sirop, hiku nua, palpalum dilate, water grass

Habit: Dallisgrass is a clumping perennial grass that spread from short thick rhizomes. Plants emerge in spring and early summer and bloom from midsummer to early autumn.

Leaves: At seedling stage the first few leaves may have short soft hairs; however, after that point, there are only long hairs present on the plant located at the collar region and hairs along the leaf margin. Leaves are 0.25 to 0.50 inches wide and 4 to 10 inches long. It is pretty normal for the base of the grass stems to be purple. Mature plant has smooth sheaths and a tall membranous ligule (5mm). The leaf also has a prominent mid vein.

Identifying Characteristics: Dallisgrass has very strong prostrate tillers that do not root at the nodes. It also has short, shallow running rhizomes. The mid-rib helps distinguish between weeds like crabgrass and foxtail.

Flower Seed Head: Dallisgrass has a very distinct seedhead and is easily identifiable. Seed head is raceme, and has hairy spikelets. Flowers are produced on a tall terminal stalk that has 3-5 or more branches (2-3 inches in length) along the terminal end. The spikelets are ovate, wide, and covered in soft hairs. There are four rows of them, one each raceme.

Seed Fruit: The seeds are ovate, shiny and yellow to brown in color. Black anthers often persist as fruit mature giving the seedheads a characteristic look.

Where Found: This is a major turf weed, but also invades flower beds, pastures, and road-sides. While it can grow in many habitats it prefers moist conditions.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: more than 3 mm

  • Seed head: multiple spikes

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm

  • Grass stem: flat or oval