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Southern Crab Grass Digitaria ciliaris

Phonetic Spelling
dij-ih-TARE-ree-uh sil-ee-AIR-iss
Description

Southern Crabgrass is a clump forming warm season annual grass native to the tropics.  It is found in pastures, disturbed sites, or in lawns.  It reseeds easily and forms thick mats that are challenging to remove making it a weedy plant. To manage the weed try to hand weed it when it is small before it has sent down secondary roots.  Mulching garden beds can slow germination.  It is killed off by frost.  

This plant and some of the cultivars, especially Red River, are utilized as summer forage for livestock.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red River'
    Used as forage for livestock
'Red River'
Tags:
#weeds#weedy#high maintenance#spreading#annual weed#warm season weed#lawn weed#forage crop
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Red River'
    Used as forage for livestock
'Red River'
Tags:
#weeds#weedy#high maintenance#spreading#annual weed#warm season weed#lawn weed#forage crop
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Digitaria
    Species:
    ciliaris
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Some of the cultivars are used as forage crops for livestock
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and subtropical old world
    Distribution:
    PA south to FL and west to CA in the US
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    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)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Seed heads have 2-9 spikelets appear on 1-8 inch long seed heads that produce the small light brown seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Racemes 8" long straight with a light green rachis (central stem). They form on long stems above the leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Light green finely ribbed sheaths alternate 6" long and 1/2" wide. Entire margins, hairs at the base on the sheath, linear to linear-ovate in shape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Description:
    Green stems are round to flat
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Problems:
    Weedy