A cool-season pasture grass

Timothy, Phleum pratense, is a popular pasture grass and widely used as a food source for animals.

This grass was introduced to the United States and it can escape from cultivation and show up in disturbed areas or remain in old fields. Timothy is a cool-season grass, greening up in the spring and flowering before the heat of the summer sets in.

Gray-green leaves

While shades of green are not the most reliable identification characteristic, the foliage of Timothy has a gray-green appearance that can make it stand out from other brighter green grasses. It produces broad leaves that taper to a point. Timothy has a tall, membranous ligule.

Timothy flowers arranged in a spike

Timothy produces a spike inflorescence, and often, but not always, the spike seems to emerge right out of the collar region of the uppermost leaf on the plant. This can make the spike look like it is bursting out of the leaf sheath. The spike is usually 3- 5 inches long, and densely packed with small spikelets. Taking a closer look, the individual spikelets each have two short awns on them, making them look like they have horns.

How to Identify Timothy

Timothy, Phleum pratense, is a non-native, cool season grass found in every county in Illinois. Used as a forage grass, it prefers growing in fields and other disturbed habitats. It grows two to four feet tall and its foliage has a gray to blue-green appearance. Its leaves are broad and...