Plant DetailShow Menu

Cock's-Foot Dactylis glomerata

Phonetic Spelling
DAK-ty-lis glahm-er-AH-tuh
Description

Dactylis glomerata, or Orchard Grass, is a cool-season perennial bunching grass that grows up to 6 feet high. It is a cespitose (clumping, mat forming) grass native to Eurasia and Africa that is generally considered a weed. It can be found in meadows, pasture, roadsides, and rough grassland and has become invasive in some areas of eastern USA. Orchard grass forms a dense network of non-rhizomatous roots, making it useful for erosion control. It has been introduced throughout most of the cool-temperate regions of the world as a forage grass in pastures, and for hay and silage production. It is highly palatable to all classes of livestock, although it is considered a weed in turf grass. Cats are said to like to chew it, hence the common name Cat Grass. Orchardgrass is used in grass-legume mixes for nesting, broad rearing, escape and winter cover in upland wildlife and conservation plantings.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect problems. Considered invasive in some states. Weedy, When abundant, the pollen can be a major contributor to hay fever.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Latar'
    Late season strain, highly recommended for pasture and hay production.
'Latar'
Tags:
#perennial#weed#erosion control#grasses#forage#pasture#cattle
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Latar'
    Late season strain, highly recommended for pasture and hay production.
'Latar'
Tags:
#perennial#weed#erosion control#grasses#forage#pasture#cattle
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dactylis
    Species:
    glomerata
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It is used as a medicine to treat unspecified disorders. Feed for livestock and also used for erosion control.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Macaronesia, Mediterranean to Temperate Eurasia, Africa
    Distribution:
    throughout North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Orchardgrass is used in grass-legume mixes for nesting, brood rearing, escape and winter cover in upland wildlife and conservation plantings. It also provides forage for livestock, deer, geese, and rabbits.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit are valuable to wildlife. Two to eight inches in panicle.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Panicle, 0.4 to 3 inches long, with spikelets grouped together in dense, one-sided clusters at the end of panicle branches, usually pyramidal. Spikelets greenish, contain 2 to 5 florets, lemmas pointed to short-awned. The flowers are very inconspicuous, without showy petals or sepals. The distinctive tufted triangular flowerhead is green to reddish and turns gray as the seeds mature.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves up to 10 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Leaves have a bluish hue, folded when immature but later flat, with prominent white midrib on the under side. The leaf blades of infertile shoots spread outward and remain low, while the blades of alternate leaves on fertile shoots are more arching.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are hairless, geniculate the base. Plants are clump-forming.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Erosion
    Problems:
    Weedy