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Weed Seed: Elymus repens (Quackgrass)

Family

Poaceae

Synonym

Couchgrass

Common Name

Quackgrass

Regulation

Primary Noxious, Class 2 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.

Distribution

Canadian: Occurs in every province and territory (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Exact native range obscure; however, likely native to northern Africa, Europe, temperate Asia, northern India and Pakistan. Introduced in other parts of Africa, North America, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). Occurs throughout the United States, except for some regions in the southeast (Kartesz 2011Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle

Perennial

Seed or fruit type

Floret

Identification features

Size

Shape

Surface Texture

Colour

Other Features

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields, pastures, old fields, cattle yards, river flats, roadsides, railway lines, and other disturbed areas (Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4, CABI 2016Footnote 5). A weed of all cultivated crops (Royer and Dickinson 1999Footnote 6).

General Information

Quackgrass seed production is relatively low, from 25-400 per stem (Timling 2000Footnote 7). Seed can remain viable in the soil for up to 5 years (Timling 2000Footnote 7). Quackgrass also reproduces rapidly by rhizomes, which can be spread in soil (CABI 2016Footnote 5).

Similar species

Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)

Slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus)

Photos

Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) florets
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) floret, palea view L, lemma view R
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) floret, close-up of palea teeth
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) floret, palea teeth
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) floret, close-up of rachilla
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) floret, side view, close-up of rachilla
Quackgrass (Couchgrass) (Elymus repens) florets

Similar species

Similar species: Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) floret, palea view
Similar species: Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) floret, palea teeth
Similar species: Western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) floret, callus (lemma view)
Similar species: Slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus) floret, palea view
Similar species: Slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus) floret, close-up palea teeth
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