Native to Europe, and now spread widely across the U.S. , south through Latin America, and in Asia and Australia.
Usually a winter annual, but it may persist as a perennial in cooler climates. Propagation is from seeds. Plants may be found in most habitats, including turf, roadsides, or any disturbed site.
Numerous upright stems are produced from the base of the plant, creating a large tufted appearance. Mature plants may be as tall as 2 feet, with the upper two thirds being the elongated stems with the seed heads. Leaf blades are very long and very thin, with a membranous ligule at their base.
Seed heads form an elongate spike with large, awned spikelets along it. Flowers form in early to late spring, and produce a strong, sweet odor when crushed. The tiny flowers produced by the spikelets are red to purple.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Post-emergent control may be required due to the ability of the weed to persist from year to year.