Scientific Name: Sporobolus indicus

Common Name: smut grass

Habit: Smut grass is a perennial warm-season grass that grows in bunches.

Leaves: Leaves are hairless except for a few tiny hairs around the collar, and grow up to 3 to 12 inches long and 1/8 to 1/5 inch wide. The ligule is a fringe of minute hairs, 0.1 mm ,and no auricles are present. The leaf sheath is smooth and open.

Identifying Characteristics: The mature plants are dark green, and grow in bunches up to 3 to 4 ft. In late summer and fall, seeds are typically infected with a black fungus called "Smut", hence the name smutgrass.

Flower Seed Head: The seedhead is narrow and elongated and spike-like with panicle branches directed upward, around 1 inch long and 0.6 inches across, and dark green in color. The flower blooms from July through October.

Seed Fruit: Seed are brown and 1/24 inch long. They are sometimes sticky when the are moistened.

Where Found: Smut grass is an invasive grass that Inhabits pastures, roadsides, turf, crop fields, and disturbed open places. It is native to tropical areas of the Americas. It is a troublesome weed in Hawaii, California and in the Mid-South states in United States.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: branched spike

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round