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How to Identify Barnyard Grass

Barnyard Grass, Echinochloa muricata, is a native  summer annual found in every county in Illinois, typically in disturbed habitats or wetter  areas. The leaves are rather broad, and this grass is unique because it  does not have a ligule. Instead of a membrane or hairs you'll just see a  horseshoe-shaped smooth raised surface.

This grass produces a panicle inflorescence with spikelets directly attached to the branches. The green to red spikelets are pear-shaped and  covered in soft hairs. In this example, the spikelets are awned; however, you can find awnless varieties of this same species too.

This video is part of the Grasses at a Glance series by Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension. Explore the playlist. Read our blog Grasses at a Glance.