Plant Guide > Grasses > Large Crab Grass

Large Crab Grass


Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.

Large Crab-grass is a weed only when it is out of place, as it so frequently is in this country. In some localities the stems yield a valued pasturage, and in southwestern Europe this grass is cultivated for its seeds, which are used in porridge.

Large Crab-grass. Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.

Annual. Naturalized from Europe.

Stem 1-3 ft. in length, much branched, erect or spreading and rooting at lower joints. Sheaths rather loose, smooth or hairy. Ligule short. Leaves 2'-10' long, 2"-6" wide, often hairy, rough on edges.

Spikes 4-15, often deep reddish purple, 2'-7' long, narrow, 1-sided, spreading from summit of stem. Spikelets 1-flowered, lanceolate, acute, 1"-1 1/2" long, in pairs or 3's on one side of the flat rachis. Scales 4; lowest scale minute; 2nd scale about half as long as spikelet. Stamens 3, anthers small. Stigmas lavender.

Cultivated grounds and waste places. July to September.

Throughout North America, except in the extreme north.