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Crowsfoot Grass

Crowsfoot Grass

Botanical name: Eleusine indica

Common Names

Also known as: Bull grass, Crab grass , Dog grass, Goose grass, Goose foot, Iron grass

Crosfoot Grass Description

A tufted, short-lived, grass with spreading or semi-upright stems growing up to 60 cm tall. Its leaf sheaths are prominently keeled and there is a membranous structure (0.5-1 mm long) at the base of the leaf blade. Its narrow leaf blades (3-35 cm long and 3-8 mm wide) are mostly hairless. Its seed-heads have 1-15 branches (3.5-15.5 cm long) that radiate outwards from the same point. Numerous flower spikelets (3.5-7 mm long) are densely arranged along these seed-head branches. 

STEM AND LEAVES
The stems vary from being almost upright (i.e. erect) to lying close to the ground (i.e. prostrate). The leaf sheaths are prominently keeled and there is a membranous structure (i.e. eciliate ligule) 0.5-1 mm long at the base of the leaf blade. The narrow (i.e. linear) leaf blades (3-35 cm long and 3-8 mm wide) have entire margins and a rounded or shortly-pointed tip (i.e. obtuse or acute apex). They are hairless (i.e. glabrous), but their margins are somewhat rough to the touch (i.e. scabrous).

FLOWERS AND FRUITS
The seed-heads (i.e. inflorescences) are borne on upright (i.e. erect) or angled stalks 20-60 cm long. They have 1-15 branches or spikes (3.5-15.5 cm long) radiating outwards, like a windmill (i.e. they are digitate or sub-digitate). Numerous flower spikelets (3.5-7 mm long) are densely arranged in a loosely overlapping manner along these spikes and each contain a pair of bracts (i.e. glumes) and three to nine tiny flowers (i.e. florets). The papery glumes are left behind on the stalks once the mature 'seeds' (i.e. grains or caryopses) have been shed. These 'seeds' are reddish-brown in colour and enclosed within the old straw-coloured floral bracts (i.e. the palea and lemma).

REPRODUCTION AND DISPERSAL
This species reproduces by seed, which may be spread by water, animals or in contaminated soil and agricultural produce.

SIMILAR SPECIES
Several other grass weeds have a similar seed-head to crowsfoot grass (Eleusine indica) and can occasionally be confused with it. These include summer grass (Digitaria ciliaris ), green couch (Cynodon dactylon) and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana ). Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana ) is usually a much taller plant (up to 1.2 m tall) and has brownish-green coloured seed-heads. Summer grass (Digitaria ciliaris ) has much finer seed-heads, with slender branches, and its flower spikelets fall entire leaving no bracts. Green couch (Cynodon dactylon) also has much finer seed-heads and regularly produces runners that root at the joints (i.e. it is stoloniferous).

Common Names

Also known as: Bull grass, Crab grass , Dog grass, Goose grass, Goose foot, Iron grass

Reference: https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/