IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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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.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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