[Dactylis glomerata L.]
is a common perennial weed of turf, and can be a contaminant in commercial tall
fescue seed. The leaves are a characteristic blue-green color, and the seedhead
is easy to distinguish from other grasses. In addition, there is a prominent
midvein on the underside of the leaves, and the ligule is membranous.
Seedhead / Flower
panicle seedhead has stiff branches
leaves folded in the bud
membranous; 0.12 - 0.4 inches (3 - 10 mm) long, collar-like,
often with short needle-like projection at the top
Growth Season / Life Cycle
Leaf Blade Tip Shape
sharp-pointed; V-shaped in cross section at base, sharply
creased below, deep furrow over midrib, edges rough; lower surface dull, not
Leaf Blade Width
0.24 - 0.47 inches (6 - 12 mm) wide
divided; distinct, not hairy
mostly open part way
flattened; sheath is smooth to somewhat rough; distinctly
Note: Still not
sure this is the right weed? The Turf
& Weed Identification Decision Aid may help. Check the TurfFiles glossary for definitions
of unfamiliar terms.
grass weeds are not desirable as turfgrass species under any conditions.
Therefore, every effort should be made to prevent these weedy grasses from
becoming established in turf, as selective control measures are usually
difficult. Selection of adapted turfgrass species and cultivars and the use of
cultural practices are important in minimizing weedy grass encroachment and competition.
Management practices include (1) mowing at the recommended height for the
selected turfgrass and removing clippings when seedheads of grassy weeds are
present; (2) applying the proper amount of nitrogen at the correct time
according to the turfgrass present; and (3) using soil tests to determine
needed nutrients and lime.
Warm season turfgrass herbicides
in the triazine or sulfonylurea families will provide control of orchardgrass.
© North Carolina State University. This information sheet was prepared
by Fred Yelverton, Bridget R. Lassiter, Gail G. Wilkerson, Leon Warren, Travis Gannon, Jenifer J. Reynolds, and Gregory S. Buol. Department of Crop
Science, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, North Carolina State
University. Prepared July 15, 2008. Available on-line at
www.turffiles.ncsu.edu. This publication was made possible through a grant
provided by the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research & Education
(CENTERE) whose purpose is to support worthwhile projects that will benefit
both the private sector and the public, and protect the environment.