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Goosegrass Eleusine indica

Phonetic Spelling
el-YOO-sy-nee IN-dih-kuh
Description

Goosegrass, in the family Poaceae, is a weedy summer annual grass that has a flattened, white/silver base, leading to the common name silver crabgrass. Seedlings are generally prostrate in habit, but plants will produce upright shoots and flowering stems that can grow over the top of small plants.

Its stems do not root at the nodes, making removal possible in the plants early stages.  Once established, it forms a strong, fibrous root system, making removal very difficult.  Goosegrass begins to germinate a few weeks after crabgrass.

It thrives in disturbed areas with compacted soils in full sun such as grasslands, marshes, stream banks, farmland, and road sides. In its native habitats of tropical and subtropical locations it can quickly spread in farming locations, becoming a dominant weed, thereby effecting the crops being grown.  It is the most common weed in both agricultural and environmental environments. 

Although somewhat more difficult to control than crabgrass, most preemergence herbicides and selective post-emergence grass herbicides labeled for use will manage goosegrass. It is able to set seeds even when closely mowed.  Each plant can produce more than 50,000 plus seeds that are disbursed by the wind and rain as well as anything else coming into contact with the plant, such as machinery, animals and humans.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aggressive, weedy plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#weeds#weedy#sedge#fall interest#summer annual weed#high maintenance#herbaceous#summer flowers#reseeds#herbaceous annual#warm season weed#weedy grass#dry soils tolerant#grass
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#annuals#drought tolerant#weeds#weedy#sedge#fall interest#summer annual weed#high maintenance#herbaceous#summer flowers#reseeds#herbaceous annual#warm season weed#weedy grass#dry soils tolerant#grass
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eleusine
    Species:
    indica
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Weedy grass.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa and Asia
    Distribution:
    Occurs throughout most of the USA and many parts of the world
    Wildlife Value:
    The foliage is a food source for several insects.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Creeping
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Once the flower spikelets die, small grains of fertile lemmas are released.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowering spikes or culms up to 6" long are produced in a whorl and consist of 2 dense rows of sessile spikelets along one side of its central stalk.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    White
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The medium to dark green leaf blades are up to 10" long and 1/4" across. They are mostly glabrous, keeled, and hull-shaped at their tips. They have a distinct white or silver base. The margins are sparsely ciliate with long crooked hairs. It tends to grow in a rosette with stems radiating outward.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The culms are green, glabrous, and somewhat flattened and sheathed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Slope/Bank
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy