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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 it has a very tall membranous ligule.

When it flowers Timothy produces a spike inflorescence. The inflorescence is densely packed with flattened spikelets, and each of these spikelets has two short awns.

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.