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Orchardgrass

Description

Orchardgrass 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.

Cultural Control

Perennial 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.

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Seedhead/Flower

panicle seedhead has stiff branches

orchardgrass dsc 0878
orchardgrass dsc 0878
orchardgrass dsc 0878
orchardgrass dsc 3103
orchardgrass dsc 3103
orchardgrass dsc 3103
p1050239
p1050239
p1050239
p1050957
p1050957
p1050957
p1050967
p1050967
p1050967
p1060772
p1060772
p1060772
Vernation type

leaves folded in the bud

vernation2
vernation2
vernation2
Ligule Type

membranous; 0.12 - 0.4 inches (3 - 10 mm) long, collar-like, often with short needle-like projection at the top

ligule
ligule
ligule
orchardgrass ligule
orchardgrass ligule
orchardgrass ligule
p1060773
p1060773
p1060773
sheathmargin3
sheathmargin3
sheathmargin3
Growth Season/Life Cycle

perennial weed

Auricle type

absent

ligule
ligule
ligule
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 glossy

leafback
leafback
leafback
leaftip
leaftip
leaftip
Leaf blade width

0.24 - 0.47 inches (6 - 12 mm) wide

leafback
leafback
leafback
leaftip
leaftip
leaftip
Stolon Presence

absent

Rhizome Presence

absent

Collar Type

divided; distinct, not hairy

collar
collar
collar
vernation2
vernation2
vernation2
Sheath Margin

mostly open part way

sheathmargin3
sheathmargin3
sheathmargin3
Sheath Type

flattened; sheath is smooth to somewhat rough; distinctly flattened

vernation2
vernation2
vernation2