Sunday, September 6, 2020

Weed of the Month: Eleusine indica (Indian Goosegrass)

Eleusine indica is an annual C3 grass that is an important weed of cultivated crops, lawns, and golf courses. It thrives in disturbed areas with compacted soils in full sun. Some of its common names include Indian goosegrass, yard-grass, goosegrass, wiregrass, or crowfootgrass. 

Whitish base and low growing habit

I first saw it growing on the ground of our vegetable garden, and I at first thought that it was just another crabgrass (Digitaria spp). However, closer inspection showed that it had an unusual flowerhead, with two rows of spikelets in straight rows on opposite sides of the rachis. The spikelets looked like inverted jet wings from the top!

The other interesting feature of the grass was that the area around its base was quite white in color, which gave it a two tone appearance from straight up. Close up macro shots of the inflorescence and spikelets also seem to show the tiny stigmas and anthers are purple in color.

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