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Extension > Agriculture > Crops > Weed management > Annual grass and perennial weed seedling identification

Annual grass and perennial weed seedling identification

Gerald R. Miller, Extension Agronomist
Oliver E. Strand, former Extension Agronomist

Descriptions of annual grass and perennial weed seeding identification

Annual grass seedling

Barnyardgrass

barnyardgrass

Barnyardgrass

Leaf sheath open, flattened; leaf blade smooth and hairless; no ligule.

Crabgrass, large

crabgrass

Crabgrass, large

Leaf sheath round, hairy, open; leaf blade wide, hairy; ligule membranous.

Oat, wild

oat, wild

Oat, wild

Leaf sheath pubescent, round, open; leaf blade smooth and hairless except often has scattered hairs on leaf margin toward base of leaf; ligule prominent, membranous.

Foxtail, giant

foxtail-giant

Foxtail, giant

Leaf sheath round, pubescent, open; leaf blade with dense covering of fine hairs on upper surface, few scattered hairs on lower surface; ligule a fringe of hairs.

Foxtail, green

foxtail-green

Foxtail, green

Leaf sheath round, pubescent, open; leaf blade relatively free of hairls on both surfaces: ligule a fringe of hairs.

Foxtail, yellow

foxtail-yellow

Foxtail-yellow

Leaf sheath flattened, open, relatively hairless; leaf blade has scattered long whitish hairs toward base, otherwise hairless; ligule a fringe of hairs.

Panicum, fall

panicum

Panicum, fall

Leaf sheath round, open, smooth and free of hairs; leaf blade hairless; ligule a fringe of hairs.

Proso millet, wild

proso-millet

Proso millet, wild

Leaf sheath round, open, prominently veined, coarse hairy; leaf blade wide, hairy; ligule a fringe of hairs.

Weed seedlings

Artichoke, Jerusalem

artichoke

Artichoke, Jerusalem

Cotyledons ovate to spatulate rough; leaves opposite, hairy, prominent midvein, petiole short; stem white-hairy; plant erect.

Bindweed, field

bindweed-field

Bindweed, field

Cotyledons broad, shallow notch at tip; leaves somewhat heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped, alternate; plant vine-like, twining or trailing.

Bindweed, large

bindweed-hedge

Bindweed, hedge

Cotyledons broad, notched at tip; leaves arrowhead-shaped with "cut-a-way corners" at base, leaves larger than field birdweed leaves, alternate; plant vine-like, twining.

Nutsedge, yellow

nutsedge

Nutsedge, yellow

Leaves three-ranked with triangular stem, numerous fine veins visible on leaf sheath; no ligule as in grasses.

Quackgrass

quackgrass

Quackgrass

Leaf sheath round, open, pubescent; leaf blades may be smooth or pubescent; ligule membranous, short; older leaves bear a pair of auricles (short claw-like appendages that are attached to the leaf collar at base of blade); plants may arise from seed or from white rhizomes (underground stems).

Sowthistle, perennial

sowthistle

Sowthistle

Cotyledons oval, short stalked; leaves ovate with slightly toothed or prickly margins, long petioles, leaves alternate; plant erect, plant contains milky juice.

Thistle, Canada

thistle

Thistle, Canada

Cotyledons ovate to linear, thick and fleshy; first leaves ovate with prickly margins, successive leaves more wrinkled and spiny, leaves alternate; plant erect.


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