Plant ID forum: New to Texas. What kind of grass is this?

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chrisholmes02
Dec 2, 2016 7:48 PM CST
My lawn has bermuda grass in it, however this fall a new blade started to appear. It has started to take over my lawn. It looks like grass; except it is an almost neon-green color, the blades grow longer and about 3 times as fast as the rest of the lawn. The root system looks very similar to a weed to me. I have used weed killer on it and it did nothing. I am not sure if it is some kind of grass I am unfamiliar or a weed. I do not really mind it except for the fast the blades grow so much faster than the rest of the yard, it just looks goofy. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 2, 2016 8:36 PM CST
Welcome! It's a grass. Is there any chance you can get a sharper and closer picture showing the detail where the blade emerges from the sheath (like the last pic above but closer to that part). If you lay the plant on a sheet of white paper it may help the camera to focus better. I can see some characteristics that may help ID it but not quite enough. Does the base of the plant seem flattish or rounded, and are the emerging new leaves folded more or less flat or are they rolled?

A rough idea of where you are located would also help. Obviously not a very cold winter climate since you have Bermuda grass. Edit - oops just saw the thread title again which answers that question.


[Last edited by sooby - Dec 2, 2016 8:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Dec 2, 2016 8:40 PM CST
It could be Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 2, 2016 8:47 PM CST
I'm pretty sure I can see a ligule at the sheath/leaf junction which would make it a grass, Arlene? Yellow nutsedge wouldn't have a ligule.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Dec 3, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Sorry, I don't know my ligules but from the description of its growth pattern, and the speed at which it grows, it was my best guess.

Here's what I got when I checked for ligule on nut sedge:
https://www.google.com/search?...

Here it grows in with lawn grass and also spread to a garden of Japanese irises and has been impossible to eliminate although I have used a specific nut sedge killer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 3, 2016 11:34 AM CST
This page may help, it shows ways of differentiating between grasses, sedges and rushes, there's a diagram at the bottom:

https://turf.purdue.edu/tool/i...

Here is an ID page for yellow nutsedge - ligule absent.

http://plantscience.psu.edu/re...

I can't see it all that clearly but there does look to be a ligule on each of the collars pictured on the ID plant. I don't think there are auricles but I can't see for sure.

I was wondering about orchard grass but need to see it closer. That one also pops up in lawns and has a different colour:

http://plantscience.psu.edu/re...
[Last edited by sooby - Dec 3, 2016 11:37 AM (+)]
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chrisholmes02
Dec 4, 2016 4:18 PM CST
sooby said: Welcome! It's a grass. Is there any chance you can get a sharper and closer picture showing the detail where the blade emerges from the sheath (like the last pic above but closer to that part). If you lay the plant on a sheet of white paper it may help the camera to focus better. I can see some characteristics that may help ID it but not quite enough. Does the base of the plant seem flattish or rounded, and are the emerging new leaves folded more or less flat or are they rolled?

A rough idea of where you are located would also help. Obviously not a very cold winter climate since you have Bermuda grass. Edit - oops just saw the thread title again which answers that question.




Thanks for your help. I am in north Texas, DFW if that helps with anything. Here are some closer up pictures that hopefully help you a bit better. To answer your questions: The base is definately rounded and the leaves start out rolled near the base and pretty quickly flatten out.
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chrisholmes02
Dec 4, 2016 4:22 PM CST
pirl said:Sorry, I don't know my ligules but from the description of its growth pattern, and the speed at which it grows, it was my best guess.

Here's what I got when I checked for ligule on nut sedge:

Here it grows in with lawn grass and also spread to a garden of Japanese irises and has been impossible to eliminate although I have used a specific nut sedge killer.


It does look like the images on your google search of Ligule of any kind. Maybe because it only does so in the summer or spring and this didn't start to emerge until late september?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Dec 4, 2016 5:39 PM CST
@Dave has nut sedge so maybe he can lend his thoughts...and he lives in Texas.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 4, 2016 6:07 PM CST
It does have a long, and somewhat ragged ligule. Compare with these pictures of orchardgrass:

http://purdueturftips.blogspot...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 4, 2016 6:12 PM CST
chrisholmes02 said:

It does look like the images on your google search of Ligule of any kind. Maybe because it only does so in the summer or spring and this didn't start to emerge until late september?


The pictures on Arlene's link where ligules were shown are grasses if you click to see the original page. Nut sedge doesn't have a ligule.

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Dec 4, 2016 6:27 PM CST
I have sedge too and what is pictured looks like a grass to me.
Porkpal
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
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Esperanza
Dec 4, 2016 6:30 PM CST
It looks like Johnson grass to me.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 4, 2016 6:47 PM CST
Esperanza said: It looks like Johnson grass to me.


It does have a ligule and it's not a grass I'm familiar with but it looks as if the midrib should be white - I'm not sure if any of the leaves in the ID plant are visible on the upper surface....

Johnson Grass white midrib:
https://www.google.ca/search?q...
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
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dave
Dec 4, 2016 6:53 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree that this looks more like Johnsongrass and not nutsedge. @KentPfeiffer could probably give us confirmation.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Dec 5, 2016 12:19 AM CST
Don't know what it is, other than 'familiar' and probably in my yard along with everything else. But it doesn't look like nutsedge, for which you should be very glad.

Welcome to NGA and welcome to Texas!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Dec 5, 2016 4:35 AM CST
Another useful clue to which grass it is would be whether it has rhizomes/stolons or not. For example orchardgrass is a bunch grass so only forms clumps whereas Johnson grass has rhizomes like this:

https://www.google.ca/search?q...



chrisholmes02
Dec 6, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Thank you for the replies. So if this is Johnson grass, is it a regular grass or a weed? Some online research tells me that it is an unwanted weed. Some sites say to pull out the clumps. There really aren't any clumps they kind of grow individually like grass. And trying to pull it all out would take weeks. Is there a way to kill it without killing the bermuda grass, or do I just live with it now and mow twice as much?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 6, 2016 9:32 AM CST
If it is Johnson grass, it is not a desirable lawn grass, but mowing it short should discourage it without harming the Bermuda.
Porkpal
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Hummingbirder Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Esperanza
Dec 6, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Johnson grass will be easiest to pull after it rains and will have minimal if any damage to the burmuda. You will probably have to work at this for several seasons to completely eradicate it.When Johnson grass is actively growing it contains cyanide and is deadly to live stock. I have learned that the hard way with one of my horses. Be careful when pulling it making sure to wear gloves. It is a very nasty grass and spreads easily. If the grass you have is Johnson it is best to get it off your property as soon as you can. It is an absolute pain in the garden once it gets there.

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