Goosegrass Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.
Life cycle: Annual
Native status: Introduced
Habitat: Turf, waste areas. Often found in compacted soils.
General description: Prostrate growth habit in closely mown turf, in other areas can be upright. Leaves folded in bud resulting in flat stems. Seedheads consist of 2-6 spikes with two rows of spikelets; individual spikes coarser than those of crabgrass.
Key ID traits: Membranous ligule; flat stems. Tillers radiate outward parallel to soil surface. Leaf sheaths at crown are white to silver in color.
Similar species: Growth habit and seedheads are similar to crabgrass, but flat stems and larger inflorescences of goosegrass simplify identification.
Miscellaneous: Also called silver crabgrass due to light color of the crown area. Goosegrass is a bigger problem in the southern U.S. than Iowa.