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Avatar for chrisholmes02
Dec 2, 2016 7:48 PM CST
Thread OP

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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Dec 2, 2016 8:36 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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 Icon for preview
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Dec 2, 2016 8:40 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Dec 2, 2016 8:47 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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.
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Dec 3, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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.
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Dec 3, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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 Icon for preview
Avatar for chrisholmes02
Dec 4, 2016 4:18 PM CST
Thread OP

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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Avatar for chrisholmes02
Dec 4, 2016 4:22 PM CST
Thread OP

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?
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Dec 4, 2016 5:39 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
@Dave has nut sedge so maybe he can lend his thoughts...and he lives in Texas.
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Dec 4, 2016 6:07 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
It does have a long, and somewhat ragged ligule. Compare with these pictures of orchardgrass:

http://purdueturftips.blogspot...
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Dec 4, 2016 6:12 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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.
Avatar for porkpal
Dec 4, 2016 6:27 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
I have sedge too and what is pictured looks like a grass to me.
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Dec 4, 2016 6:30 PM CST
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Adeniums Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Cactus and Succulents
Butterflies Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2018 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
It looks like Johnson grass to me.
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Dec 4, 2016 6:47 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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...
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Dec 4, 2016 6:53 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Vermiculture Garden Research Contributor
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Ukraine Garden Sages
I agree that this looks more like Johnsongrass and not nutsedge. @KentPfeiffer could probably give us confirmation.
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Dec 5, 2016 12:19 AM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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!
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Dec 5, 2016 4:35 AM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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...
Avatar for chrisholmes02
Dec 6, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Thread OP

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?
Avatar for porkpal
Dec 6, 2016 9:32 AM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Charter ATP Member Keeper of Poultry I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Keeps Horses
Roses Plant Identifier Farmer Raises cows Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
If it is Johnson grass, it is not a desirable lawn grass, but mowing it short should discourage it without harming the Bermuda.
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Dec 6, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Adeniums Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Cactus and Succulents
Butterflies Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2018 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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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