Large Crabgrass

Large_Crabgrass_jpgThe Poaceae family is commonly called the grass family.  The common name “Crabgrass” refers to the creeping manner in which these plants grow.  The genus Digitaria is from digitusmeaning “a finger” and refers to the slender, branched spikes on which the seeds grow. There are about 15 species of crabgrass (Digitaria) in the United States and approximately 60 species in the tropical and temperate regions of the world.  They are abundant in the East and Southeast.  Like many other annuals, they produce many seeds.  Thus, they are of value to wildlife and a nuisance to farms and gardeners.  Songbirds and upland gamebirds feed on the seeds of Large Crabgrass.  Small mammals eat the plant. Large Crabgrass is an established weed of lawns, fields, gardens and waste places throughout our area and west to the Pacific Ocean.

 

OtherCommonName:

Hairy Crabgrass, Finger-Grass

ScientificName:

Digitaria sanguinalis

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized from Europe

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

Prostrate, creeping to 2 feet long

FruitingTime:

Mid-July to late October, most in August and September

Distribution:

Statewide in New Jersey ~ A very common weed, invades poorly maintained lawns

FloweringTime:

July to late October, most in August and September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Much branched ~ Several spikelets on end of stalk ~ Leaves hairy, wide ~ Roots at the nodes ~ Many seeds. Consider the often quoted rhyme when identifying grasses: “Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints from their tips to the ground.”