Low-lying invasive lawn weed identification

Asked August 13, 2019, 3:01 AM EDT

I have a weed that seems to be taking over my lawn. I don't remember this weed being so widespread in previous years, so perhaps it likes the wet conditions we've been having. I'll include a couple pictures. I took some to a local garden shop, and they guessed spurge weed; I looked at a bunch of pictures online, and I don't think that's right, since spurge has almond shaped leaves. What I have has more thin, grass-like leaves. Looking at the weed pictures on this site, kylinga looks close, though I stopped looking after awhile - weed overload :). https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/green-kyllinga I dug up some to take to the garden shop, and the roots are very loose-packed and airy - not a lot of dirt. Thanks.

Montgomery County Maryland lawns and turf weed identification

7 Responses

Your pictures are a bit blurry but they do not look like Kyllinga. The first and third photo looks like nimblewill. Nimblewill has thin lance-shaped blades.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/nimblewill
The middle photo possibly looks like Japanese stiltgrass but it is hard to say,
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/japanese-stiltgrass

You can always send more photos. If you do pull some out of the ground and place it on a sheet of white paper so we can get a better look.

Deb

Deb, thanks for the reply. Attaching some more pictures. Pulled fresh from the ground and placed on white paper on the dining room table. I hope this set is more revealing.

Your three photos look like all the same weed - Japanese stiltgrass. It has been really bad this year. It is a relatively new lawn weed. It is too late to do anything about it now. Look at the information about preemergents for next year found on the link,

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/japanese-stiltgrass
Your lawn really looks like it needs to be overseeded. This is the time of year to do it.
We have information about that in this publication,
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/lawn_pubs/HG10...

But just to let you know there is some recent information that Montgomery County residents need to know about using pesticides. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently ruled in favor of the Mo. Co. Pesticide Law restricting the use of pesticides on private lawns and childcare facility grounds in Montgomery County. This is a new law and Montgomery County officials are still deciding on how to proceed. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection has information about the law and organic lawn care on their website

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lawns/

We also have some resources on our website that may be of help to you:

Organic lawn care - https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/organic-lawn-care

Tips for Lawn Weed Prevention and Management - https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tips-lawn-weed-prevention-and-management

Deb

Thanks, Deb. I've got lots of Japanese stilt grass, unfortunately. But this stuff is very different. The stilt grass is about 2-3 feet tall, while this stuff is very low, about 2-3 inches. The stilt grass is growing in my side yard, mostly in the shade, while this stuff is growing in the middle of the front and back lawns, mostly in the sun. Perhaps just two distinct growth habits for the same plant? That would be unusual.

Both this and the stilt grass are new invasions for me :( At least they're not poisonous, so I guess things could be worse. Plus they are both easy to pull up.

If Japanese stiltgrass is mowed, it stays low. If left to grow, it can grow to 3 feet tall. The growth habits can look different. See the above website on stiltgrass.

Marian

Marian, thank you. I thought about that after posting my last comment. Well, I suppose to look at this positively, at least I have only one problem to solve. :)

You're welcome. Good luck. Japanese stiltgrass is a tough one and you're not alone in dealing with it.