Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv.

common barnyard grass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Common barnyard grass is an introduced Eurasian grass found in cultivated fields and disturbed stes throughout New England and, indeed, most of North America, where it is reviled as an agricultural weed. However, several Native American peoples have used the seeds as a valuable food source; they can be used for winter storage, or pounded into a porridge.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
5–30 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4–6 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
  • the glume has an awn
  • the glume has no awn
One or more florets
  • there is more than one floret per spikelet
  • there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0–50 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0 mm
Anther length
0.5–1 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.5–1 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    • the glume has an awn
    • the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is hard and firm
    Floret number
    1–2
    Floret types within spikelet
    • NA
    • there are at least two distinct forms of florets within one spikelet
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume shape
    the glume is flat or curved in cross-section
    Glume veins
    • 0
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    50–250 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched and the branches all grow from the same side of the plant and look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    • NA
    • the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    0–50 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    Lemma vein number
    5
    One or more florets
    • there is more than one floret per spikelet
    • there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    4–6 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    5–30 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is absent
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Hairs at nodes
    the stem nodes are hairless or they have very sparse hairs

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. crus-galli

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Echinochloa muricata:
coriaceous portion of upper lemmas acute to acuminate at apex, gradually transitioning from the coriaceous body into the membranous tip, the two regions not offset by a line of minute hairs (vs. E. crus-galli, with the coriaceous portion of upper lemmas rounded at apex, abruptly transitioning to an early withering, membranous apex, the two regions separated by a line of minute hairs).
Echinochloa frumentacea:
lower lemmas usually unawned and upper lemmas wider and longer than the upper glumes at maturity, the margins and apex exposed and visible (vs. E. crus-galli, with lower lemmas usually awned and upper lemmas nor or barely exceeding the upper glumes in length and width, primarily concealed).

Synonyms

  • Panicum crus-galli L.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Echinochloa

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. E

common barnyard grass. Panicum crus-galli L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Cultivated fields, areas of habitation, ditches, disturbed soil.