Native to Eurasia and Africa, and now occurring throughout North America. This grass will grow in virtually any situation, crop or non-crop, landscape and turf.
An annual grass weed, with seeds germinating from early spring through autumn, and plants maturing from early summer into autumn.
Mature plants may be as tall as 5 feet. Leaves are flat and wide, over ½ inch wide, and without a ligule or auricles at the base of the leaf. There may be a small tuft of hairs at the base, and the sheath around the stem is whitish. Seedhead is a coarsely branched panicle up to 4 inches long, with numerous branches on either side of the stem. The flower head is green to purple in color. There is great variation in the shape of the panicle among the many varieties of barnyard grass. Seeds are formed in 2 to 4 crowded rows along the branch, and may have a terminal awn. In some varieties this awn can be as long as 1.5 inches.
Usually found in moist, rich soils. May root at the lower nodes on the stems, creating large clumps of grass.