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How to Identify Broomsedge

Broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus, is a native, warm season grass. This bunchgrass typically grows two to three feet tall. Broomsedge has flattened rather than round stems, and it has many leaves, resulting in a bushy appearance. This grass often, but not always, has hairy leaf blades and sheathes, and you can also find a short, membranous ligule. 

Broomsedge produces a raceme inflorescence and the individual spikelets are awned and covered in long white hairs. Since several spikelets are held together, they resemble fluffy eyelashes. Broomsedge is also easy to spot in the fall and winter since the dense bunches turn a golden-orange color.

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.