This grass is slowly taking over my yard, and it's highly irritating as it grows at 3-5 times the speed of the rest of the lawn. I'd dearly love to get rid of it, but broadleaf weed killer is not effective and pulling several hundred if not thousands of them is less than ideal. What is it, and can I kill it without killing the surrounding lawn? It has broad leaves that grow off a circular red stem with a red base. It also has a very thick root that I believe hosts several shoots. Most blades I pull pop off with a dozen or so short thin roots, but after I pulled a couple out that had much thicker woodier roots I realized I wasn't going to do much good by pulling alone.

What is this, and how can I get rid of it?

An example of the plant:

enter image description here

And an example of the root:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Things that grow much faster than the surrounding grass are more heavily impacted by repeated mowing than the surrounding grass is, for one thing. What is your mowing/cut height set to?
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 17, 2016 at 17:44

7 Answers 7


Pretty sure this is good ole crabgrass. Ecnerwal asked how high you were mowing your lawn. Keeping your lawn (cool season grasses) mowed NO LOWER THAN 3" will inhibit germination of any seeds below the 'canopy' of the grasses and is the best preventative measure.

Another method that should be used in conjunction with mowing height is using a bit of glyphosate.With protective gloves, wet the fingers (no drips) with glyphosate/roundup and paint the leaves of this grass. Takes 3 weeks to kill including the roots.

Mowing no shorter than 3" prevents weed seeds from germinating. Also, slows water evaporation. The grass slows growth at 3" so less matter is removed from your lawn each mowing, weekly. Healthy lawns can out compete this weed.

Water deeply, allow to dry before the next deep watering (look this up on our site) and fertilize at least 3 X per growing season with appropriate NPK levels for the season. Use organic, slow release fertilizer...I am not kidding, this makes a huge difference. Fast acting scotts, ortho is worthless in promoting a healthy lawn. Check out Dr. Earth's Lawn Fertilizer. Worth the extra bucks!!

Aerate by pulling plugs, leave to disintegrate on your lawn, minimum once per year.


This is Nutsedge. There is yellow and purple Nutsedge. Has a large tuberous root system that can go 8 to 14 inches deep. Very difficult to get rid of. Digging up roots seems best bet. Mow on high setting. I have it. Took a while to identify but finally found it!


Look up Reed Canary Grass - that is what the “Picture This” app told me. I have the same grass and painstakingly digging to eradicate it from my garden is a headache, as I live next to a poorly-managed hay field with that growing around the edges.


That is neither crab grass nor nut sedge (nutgrass) That is a type of Bermuda grass. I have been dealing with this also. I dug deeply - beyond the surface. Any stems left in the ground WIll sprout. I did not reuse the dirt that I dug up for this reason.


I believe this is annual ryegrass, as I am experiencing a similar, if not exact same problem. My new bermudagrass sod was laid last October in Georgia, and while the bermudagrass quickly went dormant, dozens of weed-like grasses started popping up by November and kept growing through winter (this would likely eliminate crabgrass as an option). It is April now and these grasses are still growing at a much faster rate than the bermudagrass. From what I have read the annual ryegrass dies off as the days heat up.


Perennial rye grass. Roundup will kill it along with everything else. No selective herbicide. Pull it, kill it and re-seed or live with the long stalks continually sticking out above your bluegrass and fescue.


I believe you are all incorrect, respectfully. It looks like what I have growing in new topsoil that I recently added to a low area in my lawn. I was told that it is foxtail grass, an annual, and that the best way to control it is to mow it short after it has grown up and started to show seed heads. If it doesn't go to seed before going dormant in the late fall, it supposedly won't show up next spring. And I was told that if I cut it short too soon it will just put out new seed heads lower than the mower blade.

I am no expert, but my neighbor's son works in a nursery and he is the one who advised me. I sincerely hope that ONE of us is correct and that you get the problem grass eradicated, just as I hope that I do! (and I hope someone will settle this by advising whether any of us is correct).

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