Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.

goosegrass

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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

Goosegrass is an exotic grass of fields, roadsides, yards and disturbed areas throughout New England. It is regarded as a weed throughout much of its range, which extends to India and beyond. Its long, spreading spikes resemble goose feet.

Habitat

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

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
3–7 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4–7 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0.2–1 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 no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    5–7
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    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 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
    Lemma awn length
    0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has no awn
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is V-shaped if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma hairs
    the lemma is hairless between the veins
    Lemma marginal vein hairs
    the marginal vein of the lemma is hairless
    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
    3
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    4–7 mm
    Spikelet pedicel
    the spikelets do not have pedicels
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    3–7 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.2–1 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    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
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs most often in non-wetlands, but rarely in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU-)

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
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Chloris virgata:
lemmas with awns, pubescent on the marginal veins and callus, and spikelets with usually 2 or 3 florets (vs. E. indica, with lemmas without awns, glabrous, and spikelets with 5-7 florets).

Synonyms

  • Cynosurus indicus L.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Eleusine

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. E

goosegrass. Cynosurus indicus L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Fields, roadsides, yards, disturbed soil.