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Pest Information



  • Latin Name: Agropyron Repens
  • Common Name: Quackgrass
  • Other Names: Couch grass, devil’s grass, dog grass, quick grass, quitchgrass, shelly grass, twitch grass, wheat grass, whickens, wire grass, witch grass, scutch grass, knot grass

Pest Details



Introduced from Europe and now found throughout most of the United States, with the exceptions of the warm southern areas from South Carolina to Arizona.


A perennial grass that is a problem in cultivated crops, landscape, and turf, but is a useful forage grass where it grows in non-cultivated pastures. Spreads and reproduces by underground rhizomes, as well as by seeds. Underground rhizomes are damaging to root crops such as potatoes, which they may penetrate as they grow.


Very similar to the ryegrasses, but quackgrass has the distinct rhizomes that may extend laterally out to 5 feet, and form a tangled mass. Rhizomes are capable of producing new plants if they are cut or broken by tillage. Mature plant grows to 3 feet tall, with erect stems that may curve at the base. Leaf blades are flat and thin, and may grow to about 1 foot in length. Leaves are covered with soft, spreading hairs and are blue-green when growing with adequate moisture, or covered with a whitish bloom when growing in dry conditions. Flower stalks give rise to single clusters of spikelets up to 6 inches long, with spikelets in alternating rows on either side of the stalk. Each spikelet contains 4 to 7 seeds, with awns usually present, sometimes as long as 1/3 of an inch.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

A perennial that reproduces from rhizomes. Broken or cut rhizomes give rise to new plants.

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