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Quackgrass

quackgrassQuackgrass is a very invasive perennial grass weed. It was introduced to the United States from Europe about two hundred years ago and now can be found in nearly all states. It grows very well in disturbed areas that are cool, moist and receive less than 50% shade. Most quackgrass plants are about one to three feet tall although some varieties can grow close to the ground. There are visible distinguishing features of quackgrass that make it appear different from other grasses; the Rhizomes are sharply pointed and yellowish-white, they turn brown and scaly with age and the base of the leaves wrap around or clasp the stem. It reproduces by seed and vegetatively by sending shoots up from rhizomes (underground stems). Each quackgrass plant is either male or female which requires cross pollination for seed production. Its flowers and seeds are arranged in two rows at the top of a spike (similar to wheat heads). An individual plant produces about 25 seeds that can remain viable for 4 years and possibly as long as 10 years. Vegetative reproduction from the rhizome is more significant than spread by seed in part due to the large number of sterile or non-viable seeds that it produces.

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