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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Grass > Quackgrass

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Elytrigia repens (L.) Beauv.

  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain

Found in:

  • Lawns and landscape beds


  • Perennial grass that grows best during cool temperatures (spring, fall)
  • Often bluish-green in color
  • Forms loose to dense clusters
  • Leaves are 2 - 12” long and 1/4 - 3/8” wide; often appearing slightly twisted as they unfurl from the shoot
  • Auricles (claw-like appendages at the base of the leaf) wrap around (clasp) stem
  • Flower heads are spike-like
  • Underground stems (rhizomes) are sharp tipped and extensive, rooting at the nodes (joints)


  • Minnesota Secondary Noxious Weed
  • Creeping underground stems (rhizomes) easily break apart and remain in the soil to grow new plants
  • Tolerates average lawn mowing height of 2 - 3”

Plants that look similar:

More information and control options for Quackgrass

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