Native to southern and western Europe, now widespread in the United States.
A winter annual grass, found on roadsides, pastures, turf, and winter row crops, and very commonly in damp situations along irrigation or drainage ditches.
Seeds germinate in the fall to mid-winter, and plants mature from late spring to early summer. At high elevations the seeds do not germinate until spring.
Mature plant grows from 6 inches to 2 feet tall, and is a yellowish green color. Leaf blades are narrow and flat, and up to around 8 inches long. Where the leaf base forms a sheath around the stem there is a distinct ligule that may be over ½ inch long, and pointed.
The flower head forms a very soft, silky panicle that may be over 6 inches long and over 1 inch wide, with long, fine whitish-gray to reddish bristles. The head is made up of many dozens of spikelets, crowded together to form the dense head.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Early seed germination, moist areas encourage its growth.