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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This grass has a rather coarse appearance. It is still referred to as Agropyron repens (Quack Grass) by many authors, which is a scientific synonym for this species. Quack Grass usually has leaf blades that are 1/4" to 1/3" across, while other Agropyron spp. (Wheat Grasses) in Illinois have more slender leaf blades (up to 1/5" across). This genus of grasses occurs primarily in dry sunny areas of the plains and western states. Recently, some species in this genus have been reassigned to either the Elytrigia or Elymus genus. Most of these species have spikelets in which the individual glumes and lemmas are easily separated from each other; individual spikelets do not detach in their entirety from their peduncles. Exceptions are Quack Grass and Elytrigia smithii (Western Wheat Grass, formerly known as Agropyron smithii), which have glumes and lemmas that are more difficult to separate from each other. This latter species has more narrow leaf blades than Quack Grass, as described above. Another species, Elymus pauciflorus subsecundus (Bearded Wheat Grass, formerly known as Agropyron subsecundum), resembles the awned form of Quack Grass somewhat. However, the lemmas of Bearded Wheat Grass have awns that are longer than 1/3" in length, while the lemmas of Quack Grass have shorter awns than this.
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Description

This introduced grass is about 2-3' tall and unbranched, although it may tiller at the base and send up multiple culms. The culms are green, terete, and hairless. Along each culm are 3-6 alternate leaves. Each leaf blade is up to 8" long and 1/3" (10 mm.) across, or a little larger in size; it is dull green or greyish blue, ascending at the base near the culm, and curving outward or downward toward its tip. The upper surface of the leaf blade is hairless to sparsely short-pubescent and rough, while the lower surface is hairless and more smooth-textured. At the base of each leaf blade, there is a pair of slender auricles (ear-like lobes) that wrap around the culm. Each leaf sheath is dull green or greyish blue, and either hairless or pubescent. The culm terminates in a spike-like raceme up to 8" long that is stiff and erect. Along this raceme are spikelets up to 2/3" (20 mm.) long that alternate along each side of its central axis on short peduncles. These spikelets are appressed to slightly spreading and dull green to greyish blue; with maturity, they become light brown or straw-colored. Each spikelet consists of a pair of glumes at the bottom and 3-7 florets with their pairs of lemmas above. In each spikelet, the pairs of lemmas are densely crowded together. Each glume is about 1/3" (10 mm.) long and linear-lanceolate in shape; there are several fine longitudinal veins along its outer surface. The tip of each glume is acute or short-awned. Each lemma is about 1/3" long and linear to linear-lanceolate in shape. The typical form of Quack Grass has awnless lemmas (or with short insignificant ones), while f. aristata has lemmas with awns up to 1/3" (10 mm.) long. The short blooming period occurs during the summer; the florets are wind-pollinated. Upon maturity, each spikelet easily detaches from its base and falls in its entirety to the ground; the individual glumes and lemmas do not separate as readily from each other. The individual grains are pale yellow to light tan, oblongoid, and somewhat flattened. The root system is fibrous and produces long rhizomes. Vegetative colonies are often formed.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Quackgrass is widely distributed across North America: from coast to
coast, south to the southwestern border states and north to Alaska [44].
It is also widespread throughout eastern Canada [18]. Because
quackgrass does not tolerate long, hot summers it is absent from the
Gulf Coast States (except northern Texas) [36].
  • 36. Majek, Bradley A.; Erickson, Clair; Duke, William B. 1984. Tillage effects and environmental influences on quackgrass (Agropyron repens) rhizome growth. Weed Science. 32(3): 376-381. [17590]
  • 44. Taylor, Douglas R.; Aarssen, Lonnie W. 1988. An interpretation of phenotypic plasticity in Agropyron repens (Graminae). American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 401-413. [2812]
  • 18. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2) [14935]

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Quack Grass is common in central and northern Illinois, while in the southern part of the state it is uncommon (see Distribution Map). The distribution map applies to the typical unawned form of Quack Grass, Elytrigia repens repens, which is far more common than the awned form, Elytrigia repens aristata, within the state. According to official records, the awned form has been collected in Cook County only. However, the webmaster found a colony of the awned form of Quack Grass growing in Champaign County, Illinois; it probably occurs in other counties as well. This grass was introduced from Europe, probably as a contaminant of imported grain or hay. It also occurs in parts of Asia. Habitats include scrubby barrens, pastures, abandoned fields, weedy meadows, edges of yards and gardens, areas along roadsides and railroads, mined land, and waste areas. This species prefers areas with a history of disturbance. Sometimes it is deliberately planted in pastures and along slopes for erosion control.
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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
3 Southern Pacific Border
4 Sierra Mountains
5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
7 Lower Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
12 Colorado Plateau
13 Rocky Mountain Peidmont
14 Great Plains
15 Black Hills Uplift
16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Occurrence in North America

AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE HI ID IL
IN IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MN MO
MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH
OK OR PA RI SD TN TX UT VT VA
WA WV WI WY NF NS ON PQ

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Global Distribution

Native to northwest and central Europe, Mediterranean region, eastwards through temperate Asia to Japan, introduced into many other parts of the world, and often a serious weed (Couch).

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Triticum repens var. nanum Hook.:
Canada (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Triticum repens var. minus Hook.:
Canada (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Triticum repens var. vulgare Döll:
Germany (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elymus neogaeus Steud.:
Canada (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elymus vaillantianus (Wulfen & Schreb.) K. B. Jensen:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elytrigia repens subsp. elongatiformis (Drobow) Tzvelev:
Mongolia (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex B.D. Jacks.:
Australia (Oceania)
India (Asia)
Japan (Asia)
Mongolia (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
South Korea (Asia)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Triticum subulatum Banks & Sol.:
Syria (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Triticum ramosum Trin.:
Russian Federation (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. repens :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. repens :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elymus repens (L.) Gould:
Argentina (South America)
Brazil (South America)
Canada (North America)
Chile (South America)
Greenland (North America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Russian Federation (Asia)
United States (North America)
Japan (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
  • Soreng, R. J., G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, E. J. Judziewicz, T. S. Filgueiras & O. Morrone. 2003 and onwards. On-line taxonomic novelties and updates, distributional additions and corrections, and editorial changes since the four published volumes of the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae) published in Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. vols. 39, 41, 46, and 48. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/CNWG:. In R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, T. S. Filgueiras, E. J. Judziewicz & O. Morrone Internet Cat. New World Grasses. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1024044 External link.
  • Kucera, C. L. 1998. The Grasses of Missouri 305 pp., University of Missouri Press, Colombia.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1018088 External link.
  • von Bothmer, R., B. Salomon, T. Enomoto & O. Watanabe. 2005. Distribution, habitat and status for perennial Triticeae species in Japan. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 126(3): 317–346.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1029680 External link.
  • Campbell, J. J. N. & R. J. Soreng. 2003. Elymus. In Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae): IV. Subfamily Pooideae. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 48: 279–307.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1003689 External link.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elytrigia repens subsp. repens :
China (Asia)
South Korea (Asia)
India (Asia)
Japan (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
Mongolia (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski:
Argentina (South America)
Chile (South America)
Greenland (North America)
Mongolia (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
South Africa (Africa & Madagascar)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron vaillantianum (Wulfen & Schreb.) Trautv.:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. vaillantianum (Wulfen & Schreb.) Roem. & Schult.:
Argentina (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. trichorrhachis Rohlena:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. setiferum Fernald:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. heberhachis Fernald:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. subulatum Roem. & Schult.:
United States (North America)
Canada (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. pubescens Goiran:
Italy (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens fo. pilosum (Scribn.) Fernald:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. pilosum Novopokr. ex Grossh.:
Russian Federation (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. multiflorum Merr. ex Breb.:
France (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. leersianum Roem. & Schult.:
Germany (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. subulatum Podp.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. arvense Schreb. ex Ducommun:
Switzerland (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. aristatum Coss. & Germ.:
France (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens var. aristatum Schltr.:
Germany (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron repens (L.) P. Beauv.:
Chile (South America)
United States (North America)
Argentina (South America)
South Africa (Africa & Madagascar)
Canada (North America)
Mongolia (Asia)
Iran (Asia)
India (Asia)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Brazil (South America)
Afghanistan (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron nicaeense Goiran:
Italy (Europe)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Agropyron elongatiforme Drobow:
Uzbekistan (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shandong, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan [India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia; C and SW Asia, Europe; introduced in North America].
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Global Range: Elymus repens is native to Eurasia (temperate Europe and Central Asia: Afghanistan, India, Pakistan).

(As an exotic, it can be found in parts of South America (Argentina and Chile) and in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia (Batcher, 2002). This species is found in every state in the U.S. and in Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia and North to the Yukon (Werner and Rioux, 1977). Quackgrass has been listed among the most frequently listed in a recently compiled database of noxious weeds in the United States and Canada (Skinner et al., 2000).)

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Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); Europe and temperate Asia; introduced into many temperate countries.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: cool-season, graminoid

Quackgrass is a cool-season, exotic, perennial, rhizomatous graminoid.
Its stems are erect, decumbent, and may reach heights of 1 to 3 feet
(0.3-1 m) but more commonly grow to 0.25 to 1 inch (0.5-2 cm) high
[18,21]. Quackgrass is green to whitish, with hirsute to nonhirsute
leaves and awned or nonawned lemmas [18,26]. Rhizomes can grow 23
inches (60 cm) or more from the main shoot before sending out stems [36]
and grow as deep as 8 inches (20 cm) [26]. Dahlberg [12] described how
to identify seeds of the Agropyron genus to distinguish between
desirable and undesirable species.
  • 21. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 12. Dahlberg, Robert C. 1914. Identification of the seeds of species of Agropyron. Journal of Agricultural Research. 3(3): 275-289. [4147]
  • 26. Holmgren, Arthur H. 1958. Weeds of Utah. Special Report 12. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 85 p. [2935]
  • 36. Majek, Bradley A.; Erickson, Clair; Duke, William B. 1984. Tillage effects and environmental influences on quackgrass (Agropyron repens) rhizome growth. Weed Science. 32(3): 376-381. [17590]
  • 18. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2) [14935]

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Description

Plants with long rhizomes. Culms not tufted, green, glaucous, or purplish green, 40–80 cm tall, 3–5-noded, smooth. Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous but pilose at base; ligule ca. 0.5 mm; leaf blade flat, 10–20 × 0.5–1 cm, abaxial surface smooth, adaxial surface scabrous or pilose. Spike erect, 10–18 × 0.8–1.5 cm; rachis smooth but margin hispidulous; internodes 10–15 (–30) mm. Spikelets 10–18 × 6–10 mm, with 5–7(–10) florets, glabrous. Glumes subequal, 4–15 mm, 5–7-veined, smooth, glabrous, margin membranous, apex with point 1–2 mm or awn 4–8 mm. Lemma oblong-lanceolate, 6–12 mm, apex acuminate or with awn to 2 mm or 4–8 mm. Palea slightly shorter than lemma, ciliolate along keels. Anthers yellow, ca. 5 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Sep.
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Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem inte rnodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly closed, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet 3-10 mm wide, Spikelets wit h 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating below the glumes, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma mucronate, very shortly beaked or awned, less than 1-2 mm, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn less than 1 cm long, Lemma awned from tip, Lemma awn from sinus of bifid apex, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea longer than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear, Caryopsis hairy at apex.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems trailing, spreading or prostrate, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems solitary, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades 1-2 cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margin s folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence simple spikes, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Inflorescence spikelets arranged in a terminal bilateral spike, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 2 florets, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel hairy, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glumes awned, awn 1-5 mm or longer, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma mucronate, very shortly beaked or awned, less than 1-2 mm, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn less than 1 cm long, Lemma awned from tip, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea longer than lemma, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear, Caryopsis hairy at apex.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Tufted perennial with extensive, wiry rhizomes; culms 30-120 cm high, erect or geniculately ascending. Leaf-blades usually flat, 6-30 cm long, 3-10 mm wide, glabrous or loosely hairy above. Spike lax or dense, 5-15(-20) cm long, erect and straight; rhachis joints scabrid along the margins. Spikelets 5-7-flowered, 8-17 mm long; glumes subequal, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, 5-15 mm long, acute, mucronate or shortly awned, scabrid on the nerves above; lemma lanceolate-oblong, 6-11(-13) mm long, glabrous and smooth, acute, awnless or with a subulate tip, palea nearly as long as the lemma, anthers 3.5-6 mm long.
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Type Information

Holotype for Agropyron repens f. stoloniferum Farw.
Catalog Number: US 1015935
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): O. A. Farwell
Year Collected: 1899
Locality: Detroit., Wayne, Michigan, United States, North America
  • Holotype: Farwell, O. A. 1900. Annual Rep. Comm. Parks & Boulev. Detroit. 11: 48.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: fern

Quackgrass invades gardens, yards, crop fields, roadsides, ditches, and
just about any disturbed, moist area [21]. It invades mixed-grass
prairies as well as oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya spp.) and
whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) forests [1,24,49]. It can tolerate
some saline conditions in the low-lying valleys of Utah [26].
Salt-tolerant cultivars have been developed by crossing quackgrass with
bluebunch wheatgrass [42]. Elevational range in four western states
follows [14]:

State Elevation

Utah 5,100-8,200 feet (1,554-2,499 m)
Colorado 4,800-10,000 feet (1,463-3,048 m)
Wyoming 4,500-8,000 feet (1,372-2,438 m)
Montana 5,000-6,600 feet (1,524-2,012 m)

Some associate species of quackgrass include sedge (Carex spp.), bulrush
(Scirpus spp.), rush (Juncus spp.), bluebunch wheatgrass, crested
wheatgrass, red top (Agrostis alba), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans),
bluestems (Andropogon spp., Schizachyrium spp.), smooth brome (Bromus
inermis), poverty oatgrass (Danthonia spicata), panic grass (Panicum
spp.), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), common ragweed (Ambrosia
artemisiifolia), prairie pepperweed (Lepidium densiflorum), prairie
dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense),
Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum), and bracken fern (Pteridium
aquilinum) [1,5,11,15,24,26,28].
  • 21. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 1. Anderson, Roger C. 1973. The use of fire as a management tool on the Curtis prairie. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1972 June 8-9; Lubbock, TX. Number 12. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 23-35. [8461]
  • 5. Becker, Donald A. 1989. Five years of annual prairie burns. In: Bragg, Thomas A.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 163-168. [14037]
  • 11. Crow, T. R.; Mroz, G. D.; Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1305-1315. [16600]
  • 14. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 15. Dziadyk, Bohdan; Clambey, Gary K. 1983. Floristic composition of plant communities in a western Minnesota tallgrass prairie. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 45-54. [3194]
  • 24. Henderson, Richard A. 1986. Response of seedling and sapling trees to a spring fire in a Wisconsin oak opening. In: Koonce, Andrea L., ed. Prescribed burning in the Midwest: state-of-the-art: Proceedings of a symposium; 1986 March 3-6; Stevens Point, WI. Stevens Point, WI: University of Wisconsin, College of Natural Resources, Fire Science Center: 81-85. [16272]
  • 26. Holmgren, Arthur H. 1958. Weeds of Utah. Special Report 12. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 85 p. [2935]
  • 42. Roundy, Bruce A. 1987. Seedbed salinity and the establishment of range plants. In: Frasier, Gary W.; Evans, Raymond A., eds. Proceedings of symposium: "Seed and seedbed ecology of rangeland plants"; 1987 April 21-23; Tucson, AZ. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: 68-81. [4062]
  • 49. Weaver, T.; Lichthart, J.; Gustafson, D. 1990. Exotic invasion of timberline vegetation, Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 208-213. [11688]
  • 28. Hughes, H. Glenn. 1985. Vegetation responses to spring burning in an improved pasture in central Pennsylvania. In: Long, James N., ed. Fire management: the challenge of protection and use: Proceedings of a symposium; 1985 April 17-19; Logan, UT. [Place of publication unknown]. [Publisher unknown]. 3-9. [3033]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K055 Sagebrush steppe
K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe
K063 Foothills prairie
K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass
K065 Grama - buffalograss
K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass
K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - beedlegrass
K068 Wheatgrass - grama - buffalograss
K069 Bluestem - grama prairie
K074 Bluestem prairie
K100 Oak - hickory forest

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES19 Aspen - birch
FRES29 Sagebrush
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES36 Mountain grasslands
FRES37 Mountain meadows
FRES38 Plains grasslands
FRES39 Prairie
FRES41 Wet grasslands
FRES42 Annual grasslands

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Quack Grass is common in central and northern Illinois, while in the southern part of the state it is uncommon (see Distribution Map). The distribution map applies to the typical unawned form of Quack Grass, Elytrigia repens repens, which is far more common than the awned form, Elytrigia repens aristata, within the state. According to official records, the awned form has been collected in Cook County only. However, the webmaster found a colony of the awned form of Quack Grass growing in Champaign County, Illinois; it probably occurs in other counties as well. This grass was introduced from Europe, probably as a contaminant of imported grain or hay. It also occurs in parts of Asia. Habitats include scrubby barrens, pastures, abandoned fields, weedy meadows, edges of yards and gardens, areas along roadsides and railroads, mined land, and waste areas. This species prefers areas with a history of disturbance. Sometimes it is deliberately planted in pastures and along slopes for erosion control.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

1 Jack pine
15 Red pine
16 Aspen
20 White pine - northern red oak - red maple
21 Eastern white pine
27 Sugar maple
19 Grey birch - red maple
51 White pine - chestnut oak
55 Northern red oak
108 Red maple
208 Whitebark pine

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Not yet recorded in Egypt.

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© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Valleys, grasslands, pastures, meadows, field margins, waste places; 500–1900 m.
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Comments: Weed in disturbed areas cultivated fields; <1800 m.

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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Arthrinium dematiaceous anamorph of Apiospora montagnei is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Arthrinium dematiaceous anamorph of Arthrinium phaeospermum is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: esp. 7-8

Foodplant / spot causer
pycnidium of Actinothyrium coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta leptospora causes spots on leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
becoming erumpent pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta psammae causes spots on live leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 2-9

Foodplant / spot causer
pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta rhodesii causes spots on leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Belonopsis graminea is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Bisporella scolochloae is saprobic on dead, on ground stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 7-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
cleistothecium of Blumeria graminis parasitises live sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 7-10

Foodplant / pathogen
Cladochytrium caespitis infects and damages rotten root of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
extensive, velvety colony of Cladosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Cladosporium cladosporioides is saprobic on dead, rain-soaked stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / pathogen
sclerotium of Claviceps purpurea infects and damages inflorescence of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 9-11

Foodplant / saprobe
long-stalked apothecium of Crocicreas furvum is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 8

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hymenoscyphus robustior is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 6-7
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Keissleriella culmifida is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Lachnum carneolum var. longisporum is saprobic on dead leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: (2-)6-8(-10)

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Lachnum palearum var. palearum is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 3-8

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, subiculate, immersed becoming superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria dactylina is saprobic on culm of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / saprobe
mostly immersed, becoming partly erumpent to free pseudothecium of Lophiostoma semiliberum is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 12-4

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Lophodermium arundinaceum is saprobic on dead leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 3-8

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Lophodermium culmigenum is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 3-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Lophodermium gramineum is saprobic on dead leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Tetraploa dematiaceous anamorph of Massarina tetraploa is saprobic on Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
pseudothecium of Massariosphaeria rubelloides is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / sap sucker
Metapolophium dirhodum sucks sap of live Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / pathogen
Fusarium anamorph of Monographella nivalis infects and damages leaf sheath (usually close to stem base) of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
extensive, velvety colony of Cladosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Mycosphaerella tulasnei is saprobic on dead, rain-soaked leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia minutissima is saprobic on dead leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, initially immersed pycnidium of Septoria anamorph of Phaeosphaeria nodorum is saprobic on dead stem (esp node) of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: spring, summer

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, usually in short rows perithecium of Phaeosphaeria pontiformis is saprobic on stem (basal internode) of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
pycnidium of Hendersonia coelomycetous anamorph of Phaeosphaeria vagans is saprobic on dead stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial conidioma of Dinemasporium coelomycetous anamorph of Phomatospora dinemasporium is saprobic on dead sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / spot causer
embedded stroma of Phyllachora graminis causes spots on live leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
immersed, crowded or in rows pycnidium of Pseudoseptoria coelomycetous anamorph of Pseudoseptoria donacis causes spots on sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 5-7

Foodplant / parasite
amphigenous, scattered or in patches uredium of Puccinia coronata parasitises live leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: summer

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Puccinia graminis f.sp. secalis parasitises live sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous, subepidermal telium of Puccinia recondita parasitises live leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
linear, mainly epiphyllous uredium of Puccinia striiformis var. striiformis causes spots on live leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / pathogen
colony of Drechslera dematiaceous anamorph of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis infects and damages live, yellowing leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
immersed, thin, subcuticular stromatic plates of Rhynchosporium coelomycetous anamorph of Rhynchosporium secalis causes spots on live sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / spot causer
scattered, immersed, punctiform, blackish pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria affinis causes spots on leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens
Remarks: season: 9

Foodplant / pathogen
immersed stroma of Pseudocercosporella dematiaceous anamorph of Tapesia yallundae infects and damages live stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / internal feeder
single larva of Tetramesa cornuta feeds within flower stem (just above node) of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / gall
single, yellowish larva of Tetramesa hyalipennis causes gall of flower stem of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / gall
larva of Tetramesa linearis causes gall of leaf sheath of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
long, linear, erumpent sorus of Urocystis agropyri causes spots on live, blistered, split into ribbons leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
long, linear, erumpent sorus of Ustilago hypodytes causes spots on live, blistered leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

Foodplant / spot causer
long, linear, erumpent sorus of Ustilago serpens causes spots on live, blistered leaf of Elytrigia repens ssp. repens

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Faunal Associations

The caterpillars of the moth Leucania multilinea (Many-Lined Wainscot) and the skipper Polites mystic (Long-Dash) feed on the foliage of Quack Grass. Other insects feeding on Quack Grass include various plant bugs, Commellus comma (Leafhopper sp.), and Melanoplus bivittatus (Two-Striped Grasshopper). The seeds are eaten to a limited extent by some birds (e.g., Ring-Necked Pheasant, Snow Bunting), while the foliage is palatable to hoofed mammalian herbivores (e.g., cattle & horses). White-Tailed Deer and the Cottontail Rabbit eat Quack Grass to a limited extent.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Blumeria graminis parasitises live Elytrigia repens

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Calameuta filiformis feeds within stem of Elytrigia repens

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Cerodontha denticornis may be found in leaf sheath of Elytrigia repens
Other: major host/prey

Plant / resting place / on
puparium of Cerodontha flavocingulata may be found on leaf of Elytrigia repens
Other: major host/prey

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Cerodontha lateralis may be found in leaf-mine of Elytrigia repens
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / miner
larva of Cerodontha superciliosa mines leaf of Elytrigia repens

Foodplant / sap sucker
Macrosiphum avenae sucks sap of live Elytrigia repens

Foodplant / pathogen
Pseudocercosporella herpotrichoides var. acuformis infects and damages Elytrigia repens

Foodplant / parasite
long, linear, erumpent sorus of Ustilago hypodytes parasitises live culm (esp surrounding internodes) of Elytrigia repens
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / spot causer
long, linear, erumpent sorus of Ustilago serpens causes spots on live, blistered leaf of Elytrigia repens

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Known predators

Elymus repens is prey of:
Tetramesa linearis
Tetramesa hyalipennis
Tetramesa comuta

Based on studies in:
Great Britain (Grassland)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Martinez, N.D., Hawkins, B.A., Dawah, H.A. & Feifarek, B.P. (1999). Effects of sampling effort on characterization of foodweb structure. Ecology, 80, 1044–1055.
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© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the term: cool-season

Cool-season grasses such quackgrass are best eliminated with early
spring burns [20,31,34]. Cool-season grasses can grow in the fall
following summer dormancy; therefore, fall burns might also help reduce
undesirable cool-season grasses [41].
  • 20. Glenn-Lewin, David C.; Johnson, Louise A.; Jurik, Thomas W.; [and others]. 1990. Fire in central North American grasslands: vegetative reproduction, seed germination, and seedling establishment. In: Collins, Scott L.; Wallace, Linda L., eds. Fire in North American tallgrass prairies. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press: 28-45. [14194]
  • 31. Kucera, Clair L. 1981. Grasslands and fire. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; [and others], technical coordinators. FIRE REGIMES and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 90-111. [4389]
  • 34. Linne, James M. 1978. BLM guidelines for prairie/plains plant communities to incorporate fire use/management into activity plans and fire use plans. In: Fire management: Prairie plant communities: Proceedings of a symposium and workshop; 1978 April 25-28: Jamestown, ND. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]: I-1 to IV-2. [Sponsored by: North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society; U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management; Fire in Multiple Use Management RD&A Program; and others]. [3600]
  • 41. Risser, P. G.; Birney, E. C.; Blocker, H. D.; [and others]. 1981. The true prairie ecosystem. US/IBP Synthesis Series 16. Stroudsburg, PA: Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company. 557 p. [16874]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, density

Five annual late April to early May burns in Minnesota resulted in a
decrease in quackgrass height but an increase in cover [5]. Plant vigor
was reduced and flowering stopped, but quackgrass continued to spread
into adjacent areas. At the time of the April burns, plant height was
between 3.9 and 5.9 inches (10-15 cm), and during the May burn, heights
were between 5.9 and 9.8 inches (15-25 cm). May and June burns on North
Dakota grasslands "harmed" quackgrass in the first postburn season, but
quackgrass recovered to almost preburn levels by the second postburn
season. Following the late June fire, quackgrass showed a slight
increase in cover, height, shoot density, production, and flowering
[39]. Wisconsin grassland fires in March caused an increase in seed
production by July and August [23].

The Research Project Summary, Herbaceous responses to seasonal burning in
experimental tallgrass prairie plots
provides information on postfire response
of quackgrass in experimental prairie plots that was not available when this
species review was originally written.
  • 5. Becker, Donald A. 1989. Five years of annual prairie burns. In: Bragg, Thomas A.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 163-168. [14037]
  • 23. Halvorsen, Harvey H.; Anderson, Raymond K. 1983. Evaluation of grassland management for wildlife in central Wisconsin. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228]
  • 39. Olson, Wendell W. 1975. Effects of controlled burning on grassland within the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge. Fargo, ND: North Dakota University of Agriculture and Applied Science. 137 p. Thesis. [15252]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: cover

Quackgrass cover can increase following fire.

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: cover

Late spring fires generally reduce quackgrass cover, flowering and
biomass, while early spring fires can increase these.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: rhizome

Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil

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Fire Ecology

Quackgrass is adapted to certain seasonal fires because of its rhizomes.

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: rhizome

Quackgrass propagates mainly by rhizomes but also reproduces by seed.
Seed production, however, is reported to be as low as 25 viable seeds
per plant per season [36]. Studies in Alaska showed that seed viability
may vary depending on how deep and long the seeds have been buried;
viablity is reduced significantly after burial for 21 months [10]. In
greenhouse trials, dormancy of seeds buried 6 inches (15 cm) deep was 16
percent, while dormancy of seeds buried 0.8 inch (2 cm) deep was only 5
percent [9]. Cross-pollination is necessary for seed production [44].
Dormancy in rhizome buds has been related to nitrogen deficiencies,
which peak in June [8]. Sod mats can be as dense as 367 meters of
rhizomes per square meter [36].
  • 8. Chancellor, R. J. 1974. The development of dominance amongst shoots arising from fragments of Agropyron repens rhizomes. Weed Research. 14: 29-38. [16858]
  • 9. Conn, Jeffery S. 1990. Seed viability and dormancy of 17 weed species after burial for 4.7 years in Alaska. Weed Science. 38: 134-138. [11815]
  • 10. Conn, Jeffery S.; Farris, Martha L. 1987. Seed viability and dormancy of 17 weed species after 21 months in Alaska. Weed Science. 35: 524-529; 1987. [5]
  • 36. Majek, Bradley A.; Erickson, Clair; Duke, William B. 1984. Tillage effects and environmental influences on quackgrass (Agropyron repens) rhizome growth. Weed Science. 32(3): 376-381. [17590]
  • 44. Taylor, Douglas R.; Aarssen, Lonnie W. 1988. An interpretation of phenotypic plasticity in Agropyron repens (Graminae). American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 401-413. [2812]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: chamaephyte, geophyte

Chamaephyte
Geophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: graminoid

Graminoid

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

A May burn in oak savannas of Wisconsin significantly reduced quackgrass
and halted flowering [13]. Similar results (reduction in biomass and
cover) have been shown for other areas [23,28]. Burning quackgrass on a
biennial schedule for several years has been effective in eradicating
this species [1,3].
  • 1. Anderson, Roger C. 1973. The use of fire as a management tool on the Curtis prairie. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1972 June 8-9; Lubbock, TX. Number 12. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 23-35. [8461]
  • 13. Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209. [3574]
  • 23. Halvorsen, Harvey H.; Anderson, Raymond K. 1983. Evaluation of grassland management for wildlife in central Wisconsin. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228]
  • 3. Bailey, Arthur W. 1978. Effects of fire on the mixed prairie vegetation. In: Proceedings: Prairie prescribed burning symposium and workshop; 1978 April 25-28; Jamestown, ND. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]: [5 pages]. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [3598]
  • 28. Hughes, H. Glenn. 1985. Vegetation responses to spring burning in an improved pasture in central Pennsylvania. In: Long, James N., ed. Fire management: the challenge of protection and use: Proceedings of a symposium; 1985 April 17-19; Logan, UT. [Place of publication unknown]. [Publisher unknown]. 3-9. [3033]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

Quackgrass is an early seral dominant in disturbed areas [15,22,27].
  • 15. Dziadyk, Bohdan; Clambey, Gary K. 1983. Floristic composition of plant communities in a western Minnesota tallgrass prairie. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 45-54. [3194]
  • 22. Gross, Katherine L.; Werner, Patricia A. 1982. Colonizing abilities of "biennial" plant species in relation to ground cover: implications for their distributions in a successional sere. Ecology. 63(4): 921-931. [12143]
  • 27. Huang, Chih-Lin; del Moral, Roger. 1988. Plant-environment relationships on the Montlake wildlife area, Seattle, Washington, USA. Vegetatio. 75: 103-113. [9742]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: rhizome

Quackgrass flowers from June through August in Colorado, Wyoming, and
Montana; and from June through July in North Dakota [14].

Optimum temperatures for growth are between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit
(20 and 25 deg C), with no growth occurring above 95 degrees Fahrenheit
(35 deg C) or below 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 deg C) [16,36]. Primary
rhizome growth begins in late May or early June and then again in
September and October [36]. Rhizome growth seems to be favored by low
temperatures [50 deg F(10 deg C)] and long days (18 hours) [36].
  • 14. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 16. Evans, Raymond A.; Young, James A. 1987. Seedbed microenvironment, seedling recruitment, and plant establishment on rangelands. In: Frasier, Gary W.; Evans, Raymond A., eds. Proceedings of symposium: "Seed and seedbed ecology of rangeland plants"; 1987 April 21-23; Tucson, AZ. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: 212-220. [3354]
  • 36. Majek, Bradley A.; Erickson, Clair; Duke, William B. 1984. Tillage effects and environmental influences on quackgrass (Agropyron repens) rhizome growth. Weed Science. 32(3): 376-381. [17590]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. & Fr. Per.: July-August
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Life Expectancy

Perennial.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Elymus repens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 24
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data: Elytrigia repens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Elytrigia repens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Elytrigia maritima

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Agropyron repens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the term: cover

Although quackgrass is considered an undesirable weed species it is
often crossed with other wheatgrasses (Agropryon spp.) to create hybrids
for grazing [2,6]. It can be controlled with chemicals such as
glyphosate, dichlobenil, and fauzifop [50]. Sometimes, however,
chemicals are not effective. In Wisconsin, 2,4-D applied to quackgrass
caused a slight increase in quackgrass cover and no effect on stem
density [23]. In Midwestern prairies, mowing and raking significantly
reduced quackgrass biomass and prevented flowering the following growing
season [13]. Mowing, burning, and chemical application combined may be
the best way to eradicate quackgrass [33].
  • 2. Asay, K. H. 1983. Promising new grasses for range seedings. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers, Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 110-115. [356]
  • 6. Beetle, Alan A. 1955. Wheatgrasses of Wyoming. Bull. 336. Laramie, WY: Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. 24 p. [415]
  • 13. Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209. [3574]
  • 23. Halvorsen, Harvey H.; Anderson, Raymond K. 1983. Evaluation of grassland management for wildlife in central Wisconsin. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228]
  • 33. Liegel, Konrad; Lyon, Jonathon. 1986. Prairie restoration program at the International Crane Foundation. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 190-194. [3567]
  • 50. Woehler, Eugene E.; Martin, Mark A. 1978. Establishment of prairie grasses and forbs with the use of herbicides. In: Glenn-Lewin, David C.; Landers, Roger Q., Jr., eds. Proceedings, 5th Midwest prairie conference; 1976 August 22-24; Ames, IA. Ames, IA: Iowa State University: 131-138. [3367]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

The degree to which quackgrass provides cover for wildlife has been
rated as follows [14]:

MT ND UT
small mammals good fair good
small nongame birds fair good fair
upland game birds good good fair
waterfowl good good fair
  • 14. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Quackgrass provides cover for numerous small rodents, birds, and
waterfowl [30,45].
  • 30. Kirsch, Leo M.; Higgins, Kenneth F. 1976. Upland sandpiper nesting and management in North Dakota. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 4(1): 16-20. [14949]
  • 45. Toepfer, John E.; Eng, Robert L. 1988. Winter ecology of the greater prairie chicken. In: Bjugstad, Ardell J., technical coordinator. Prairie chickens on the Sheyenne National Grasslands [symposium proceedings]; 18 September 18; Crookston, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-159. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 32-48. [5201]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Quackgrass has been used to revegetate mine tailings in Nova Scotia
[48]. A quackgrass/Fairway crested wheatgrass hybrid may be useful for
revegetating mine spoils and roadsides [2].
  • 2. Asay, K. H. 1983. Promising new grasses for range seedings. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers, Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 110-115. [356]
  • 48. Warman, P. R. 1988. The Gays River Mine tailing revegetation study. Landscape and Urban Planning. 16: 283-288. [6122]

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Cultivation

This adaptable grass is typically found in sunny areas that are moist to slightly dry in various kinds of soil, including those containing loam, clay-loam, gravel, and sand. Quack Grass produces a chemical that can suppress the growth of other plants; it is weedy and aggressive, particularly in the northern areas of the state.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Nutritional Value

Quackgrass has been rated fair in energy value and poor in protein value
[14]. However, food value studies in Minnesota showed that quackgrass
had as much crude protein as alfalfa during May [37]. These authors
list concentrations of 10 minerals found in quackgrass in Minnesota.
Results of Alaskan studies showed that quackgrass did not contain enough
magnesium required for ruminant digestion nor did it have a high mineral
content. However, digestibility was 64 percent and greater in three
harvest trials [38].
  • 14. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 37. Marten, G. C.; Sheaffer, C. C.; Wyse, D. L. 1987. Forage nutritive value and palatability of perennial weeds. Agronomy Journal. 79: 980-986. [3449]
  • 38. Mitchell, W. W. 1982. Forage yield and quality of indigenous and introduced grasses at Palmer, Alaska. Agronomy Journal. 74: 899-905. [16172]

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Palatability

Many palatable hybrid crosses of quackgrass and other species have been
developed and planted for livestock [2]. Feeding trials in Minnesota
showed that a quackgrass biotype was as palatable as alfalfa (Medicago
spp.) [37]. In cattle grazing trials in Montana, preference was shown
for some clonal lines of a quackgrass-bluebunch wheatgrass
(Pseudoroegneria spicata) cross [46].

The degree of use shown by livestock for quackgrass in five western
states has been rated as follows [14]:

CO MT ND UT WY
cattle good good good good good
sheep fair fair fair good fair
horses good good good good good.
  • 2. Asay, K. H. 1983. Promising new grasses for range seedings. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers, Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 110-115. [356]
  • 14. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 37. Marten, G. C.; Sheaffer, C. C.; Wyse, D. L. 1987. Forage nutritive value and palatability of perennial weeds. Agronomy Journal. 79: 980-986. [3449]
  • 46. Truscott, Doreen R.; Currie, Pat O. 1987. Factors affecting dietary preferences for genotypes of a hybrid wheatgrass. Journal of Range Management. 40(6): 509-513. [3764]

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Wikipedia

Elymus repens

Elymus repens, commonly known as couch grass, is a very common perennial species of grass native to most of Europe, Asia, the Arctic biome, and northwest Africa. It has been brought into other mild northern climates for forage or erosion control.

Other names include twitch, quick grass, quitch grass (also just quitch), dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.[1][2][3][4]

Description[edit]

It has creeping rhizomes which enable it to grow rapidly across grassland. It has flat, hairy leaves with upright flower spikes. The stems ('culms') grow to 40–150 cm tall; the leaves are linear, 15–40 cm long and 3–10 mm broad at the base of the plant, with leaves higher on the stems 2–8.5 mm broad. The flower spike is 10–30 cm long, with spikelets 1–2 cm long, 5–7 mm broad and 3 mm thick with three to eight florets. The glumes are 7–12 mm long, usually without an awn or with only a short one.

It flowers at the end of June through to August in the northern hemisphere.[2][3][5][6]

Taxonomy[edit]

Various taxonomic subdivisions of this species have been proposed. Moreover, it is assigned to various genera (Elymus, Elytrigium, Agropyron). In a recent classification, three subspecies are distinguished, one of these with an additional variety:[1][2][3]

  • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens. Throughout most of the range of the species.
    • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens var. repens. Awns usually absent or if present, very short.
    • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens var. aristata (Döll) P.D.Sell. Awns present, up to 15 mm long.
  • Elytrigia repens subsp. elongatiformis (Drobow) Tzvelev (syn. Elytrigia elongatiformis (Drobow) Nevski). Central and southwestern Asia, far southeastern Europe (Ukraine).
  • Elytrigia repens subsp. longearistata N. R. Cui. Western China (Xinjiang).

Hybrids are recorded with several related grasses, including Elytrigia juncea (Elytrigia × laxa (Fr.) Kerguélen), Elytrigia atherica (Elytrigia × drucei Stace), and with the barley species Hordeum secalinum (× Elytrordeum langei (K. Richt.) Hyl.).[2]

Ecology[edit]

The foliage is an important forage grass for many grazing mammals.[3] The seeds are eaten by several species of grassland birds, particularly buntings and finches.[7] The caterpillars of some Lepidoptera use it as a foodplant, e.g. the Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola).

Eradication[edit]

Couch grass has become naturalised throughout much of the world, and is often listed as an invasive weed.[1] It is very difficult to remove from garden environments, as the thin rhizomes become entangled among the roots of shrubs and perennials, and each severed piece of rhizome can develop into a new plant. It may be possible to loosen the earth around the plant, and carefully pull out the complete rhizome. This is best done in the spring, when disturbed plants can recover.[8][9] Another method is to dig deep into the ground in order to remove as much of the grass as possible. The area should then be covered with a thick layer of woodchips. To further prevent re-growth cardboard can be placed underneath the woodchips. The long, white rhizomes will, however, dry out and die if left on the surface. Many herbicides will also control it.

Applications[edit]

The dried rhizomes of couch grass were broken up and used as incense in mediaeval Northern Europe where other resin-based types of incense were unavailable. Elymus repens (Agropyron repens) rhizomes have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine against fever, internally as a tea, syrup, or cold maceration in water, or externally applied as a crude drug.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network: Elymus repens (L.) Gould subsp. repens
  2. ^ a b c d Flora of NW Europe: Elytrigia repens
  3. ^ a b c d Flora of China: Elytrigia repens
  4. ^ Webster Third International Dictionary (Könemann, 1993) ISBN 3-8290-5292-8
  5. ^ Fitter, R., Fitter, A., & Farrer, A. (1984). Collins Guide to the Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-219128-8.
  6. ^ Hubbard, C. E. Grasses. Penguin Books, 1978
  7. ^ Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
  8. ^ "Couch grass / Royal Horticultural Society". Apps.rhs.org.uk. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  9. ^ Hessayon, Dr D. G. (2007). The pest & weed expert. United Kingdom: Expert. p. 128. ISBN 0903505622. 
  10. ^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B. Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine - An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jun13. doi:pii: S0378-8741(13)00410-8. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. [Epub ahead ofprint] PubMed PMID: 23770053. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770053
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This species is one of the world's most valuable range grasses.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

quackgrass
couchgrass
witchgrass
quitchgrass
quickgrass
chiendent

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Synonyms

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.
Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski [4]
  • 4. Barkworth, Mary E.; Dewey, Douglas R. 1985. Genomically based genera in the perennial Triticeae of North America: identification and membership. American Journal of Botany. 72(5): 767-776. [393]

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The currently accepted scientific name for quackgrass is Elymus
repens (L.) Gould (Poaceae) [51]. One variety
and six forms have been recognized [18]. Short descriptions will follow
each here, rather than in GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.

Form Glume Lemma Rachis
E. r. aristatum oblong awned smooth
E. r. trichorrhachis oblong blunt hairy
E. r. pilosum oblong awned hairy
E. r. vaillantianum lanceolate awned smooth
E. r. heberhachis lanceolate blunt hairy
E. r. setiferum lanceolate awned hairy

E. r. var. subulatum lanceolate blunt smooth

In the laboratory, quackgrass has been successfully crossed with the
following species [2,18]:

E. r. x E. arenaurius = Agroelymus adamsii Rousseau
E. r. x Pseudoroegneria spicata
E. r. x Agropyron cristatum.
  • 2. Asay, K. H. 1983. Promising new grasses for range seedings. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers, Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 110-115. [356]
  • 18. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2) [14935]
  • 51. Barkworth, Mary E., ed. 2002. Manual of grasses for North America, [Online]. Utah State University (Producer). Available: http://herbarium.usu.edu/grassmanual/ [52642]

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