Scientific Name: Phleum pratense

Common Name: timothy

Synonyms: Phleum nodosum, Phleum pratense ssp. Nodosum, Phleum pratense var. nodosum

Habit: Timothy occurs as a weed in low-maintenance turfgrass. It persists through the winter but only flowers in the summer months of June and July.

Leaves: Leaves start off flat and form into a sharp point on the ends. The blades are 5 to 8 mm wide by 8 to 23 cm long, hairless, with rough margins, especially towards the base. The Ligule is membranous (2-4 mm) and toothed at the corners.

Identifying Characteristics: Membranous ligule that is toothed at corners, foliage lacks hairs. Plants arise from short rhizomes.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers are produced from June through July in a terminal spike-like panicle (5-10 cm long by 5-8 mm wide). Panicles are cylindrical, stiff, and somewhat bristly. The seedhead is in the formation of spikelets, which are fringed with short hairs covered with seeds.

Seed Fruit: Seeds are 1.8-2.2 mm long and are abruptly rounded with one end to a point.

Where Found: Timothy is used as hay but occurs as a weed in low-maintenance turfgrass. It is also found on the sides of roads, and in abandoned fields. Geographically Timothy may be found throughout the United States and southern Canada but requires nutrient-rich soils.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Seed head: spike

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round