Description

provided by eFloras
Tufted perennial with extensive, wiry rhizomes; culms 30-120 cm high, erect or geniculately ascending. Leaf-blades usually flat, 6-30 cm long, 3-10 mm wide, glabrous or loosely hairy above. Spike lax or dense, 5-15(-20) cm long, erect and straight; rhachis joints scabrid along the margins. Spikelets 5-7-flowered, 8-17 mm long; glumes subequal, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, 5-15 mm long, acute, mucronate or shortly awned, scabrid on the nerves above; lemma lanceolate-oblong, 6-11(-13) mm long, glabrous and smooth, acute, awnless or with a subulate tip, palea nearly as long as the lemma, anthers 3.5-6 mm long.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 624 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of Pakistan @ eFloras.org
editor
S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser
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Distribution

provided by eFloras
Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); Europe and temperate Asia; introduced into many temperate countries.
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copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 624 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of Pakistan @ eFloras.org
editor
S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Flower/Fruit

provided by eFloras
Fl. & Fr. Per.: July-August
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 624 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of Pakistan @ eFloras.org
editor
S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
A May burn in oak savannas of Wisconsin significantly reduced quackgrass
and halted flowering [13]. Similar results (reduction in biomass and
cover) have been shown for other areas [23,28]. Burning quackgrass on a
biennial schedule for several years has been effective in eradicating
this species [1,3].
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cover, density, grassland, herbaceous, seed

Five annual late April to early May burns in Minnesota resulted in a
decrease in quackgrass height but an increase in cover [5]. Plant vigor
was reduced and flowering stopped, but quackgrass continued to spread
into adjacent areas. At the time of the April burns, plant height was
between 3.9 and 5.9 inches (10-15 cm), and during the May burn, heights
were between 5.9 and 9.8 inches (15-25 cm). May and June burns on North
Dakota grasslands "harmed" quackgrass in the first postburn season, but
quackgrass recovered to almost preburn levels by the second postburn
season. Following the late June fire, quackgrass showed a slight
increase in cover, height, shoot density, production, and flowering
[39]. Wisconsin grassland fires in March caused an increase in seed
production by July and August [23].

The Research Project Summary, Herbaceous responses to seasonal burning in
experimental tallgrass prairie plots
provides information on postfire response
of quackgrass in experimental prairie plots that was not available when this
species review was originally written.
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Common Names

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
quackgrass
couchgrass
witchgrass
quitchgrass
quickgrass
chiendent
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Cover Value

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: cover

The degree to which quackgrass provides cover for wildlife has been
rated as follows [14]:

MT ND UT
small mammals good fair good
small nongame birds fair good fair
upland game birds good good fair
waterfowl good good fair
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Description

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cool-season, graminoid

Quackgrass is a cool-season, exotic, perennial, rhizomatous graminoid.
Its stems are erect, decumbent, and may reach heights of 1 to 3 feet
(0.3-1 m) but more commonly grow to 0.25 to 1 inch (0.5-2 cm) high
[18,21]. Quackgrass is green to whitish, with hirsute to nonhirsute
leaves and awned or nonawned lemmas [18,26]. Rhizomes can grow 23
inches (60 cm) or more from the main shoot before sending out stems [36]
and grow as deep as 8 inches (20 cm) [26]. Dahlberg [12] described how
to identify seeds of the Agropyron genus to distinguish between
desirable and undesirable species.
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Distribution

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Quackgrass is widely distributed across North America: from coast to
coast, south to the southwestern border states and north to Alaska [44].
It is also widespread throughout eastern Canada [18]. Because
quackgrass does not tolerate long, hot summers it is absent from the
Gulf Coast States (except northern Texas) [36].
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Fire Ecology

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: fire regime

Quackgrass is adapted to certain seasonal fires because of its rhizomes.

FIRE REGIMES :
Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this
species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under
"Find FIRE REGIMES".
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Fire Management Considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: cool-season

Cool-season grasses such quackgrass are best eliminated with early
spring burns [20,31,34]. Cool-season grasses can grow in the fall
following summer dormancy; therefore, fall burns might also help reduce
undesirable cool-season grasses [41].
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: chamaephyte, geophyte

Chamaephyte
Geophyte
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat characteristics

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: fern

Quackgrass invades gardens, yards, crop fields, roadsides, ditches, and
just about any disturbed, moist area [21]. It invades mixed-grass
prairies as well as oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya spp.) and
whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) forests [1,24,49]. It can tolerate
some saline conditions in the low-lying valleys of Utah [26].
Salt-tolerant cultivars have been developed by crossing quackgrass with
bluebunch wheatgrass [42]. Elevational range in four western states
follows [14]:

State Elevation

Utah 5,100-8,200 feet (1,554-2,499 m)
Colorado 4,800-10,000 feet (1,463-3,048 m)
Wyoming 4,500-8,000 feet (1,372-2,438 m)
Montana 5,000-6,600 feet (1,524-2,012 m)

Some associate species of quackgrass include sedge (Carex spp.), bulrush
(Scirpus spp.), rush (Juncus spp.), bluebunch wheatgrass, crested
wheatgrass, red top (Agrostis alba), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans),
bluestems (Andropogon spp., Schizachyrium spp.), smooth brome (Bromus
inermis), poverty oatgrass (Danthonia spicata), panic grass (Panicum
spp.), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), common ragweed (Ambrosia
artemisiifolia), prairie pepperweed (Lepidium densiflorum), prairie
dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense),
Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum), and bracken fern (Pteridium
aquilinum) [1,5,11,15,24,26,28].
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Cover Types

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More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

1 Jack pine
15 Red pine
16 Aspen
20 White pine - northern red oak - red maple
21 Eastern white pine
27 Sugar maple
19 Grey birch - red maple
51 White pine - chestnut oak
55 Northern red oak
108 Red maple
208 Whitebark pine
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Ecosystem

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More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES19 Aspen - birch
FRES29 Sagebrush
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES36 Mountain grasslands
FRES37 Mountain meadows
FRES38 Plains grasslands
FRES39 Prairie
FRES41 Wet grasslands
FRES42 Annual grasslands
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Plant Associations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K055 Sagebrush steppe
K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe
K063 Foothills prairie
K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass
K065 Grama - buffalograss
K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass
K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - beedlegrass
K068 Wheatgrass - grama - buffalograss
K069 Bluestem - grama prairie
K074 Bluestem prairie
K100 Oak - hickory forest
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Immediate Effect of Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: cover

Late spring fires generally reduce quackgrass cover, flowering and
biomass, while early spring fires can increase these.
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: cover

Quackgrass provides cover for numerous small rodents, birds, and
waterfowl [30,45].
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Life Form

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: graminoid

Graminoid
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Management considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cover, density

Although quackgrass is considered an undesirable weed species it is
often crossed with other wheatgrasses (Agropryon spp.) to create hybrids
for grazing [2,6]. It can be controlled with chemicals such as
glyphosate, dichlobenil, and fauzifop [50]. Sometimes, however,
chemicals are not effective. In Wisconsin, 2,4-D applied to quackgrass
caused a slight increase in quackgrass cover and no effect on stem
density [23]. In Midwestern prairies, mowing and raking significantly
reduced quackgrass biomass and prevented flowering the following growing
season [13]. Mowing, burning, and chemical application combined may be
the best way to eradicate quackgrass [33].
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Nutritional Value

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Quackgrass has been rated fair in energy value and poor in protein value
[14]. However, food value studies in Minnesota showed that quackgrass
had as much crude protein as alfalfa during May [37]. These authors
list concentrations of 10 minerals found in quackgrass in Minnesota.
Results of Alaskan studies showed that quackgrass did not contain enough
magnesium required for ruminant digestion nor did it have a high mineral
content. However, digestibility was 64 percent and greater in three
harvest trials [38].
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Occurrence in North America

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE HI ID IL
IN IA KS KY ME MD MA MI MN MO
MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH
OK OR PA RI SD TN TX UT VT VA
WA WV WI WY NF NS ON PQ
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Palatability

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Many palatable hybrid crosses of quackgrass and other species have been
developed and planted for livestock [2]. Feeding trials in Minnesota
showed that a quackgrass biotype was as palatable as alfalfa (Medicago
spp.) [37]. In cattle grazing trials in Montana, preference was shown
for some clonal lines of a quackgrass-bluebunch wheatgrass
(Pseudoroegneria spicata) cross [46].

The degree of use shown by livestock for quackgrass in five western
states has been rated as follows [14]:

CO MT ND UT WY
cattle good good good good good
sheep fair fair fair good fair
horses good good good good good.
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Phenology

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info on this topic.

More info for the term: rhizome

Quackgrass flowers from June through August in Colorado, Wyoming, and
Montana; and from June through July in North Dakota [14].

Optimum temperatures for growth are between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit
(20 and 25 deg C), with no growth occurring above 95 degrees Fahrenheit
(35 deg C) or below 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 deg C) [16,36]. Primary
rhizome growth begins in late May or early June and then again in
September and October [36]. Rhizome growth seems to be favored by low
temperatures [50 deg F(10 deg C)] and long days (18 hours) [36].
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Plant Response to Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: cover

Quackgrass cover can increase following fire.
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Post-fire Regeneration

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: herb, rhizome

Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Regeneration Processes

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: rhizome, seed

Quackgrass propagates mainly by rhizomes but also reproduces by seed.
Seed production, however, is reported to be as low as 25 viable seeds
per plant per season [36]. Studies in Alaska showed that seed viability
may vary depending on how deep and long the seeds have been buried;
viablity is reduced significantly after burial for 21 months [10]. In
greenhouse trials, dormancy of seeds buried 6 inches (15 cm) deep was 16
percent, while dormancy of seeds buried 0.8 inch (2 cm) deep was only 5
percent [9]. Cross-pollination is necessary for seed production [44].
Dormancy in rhizome buds has been related to nitrogen deficiencies,
which peak in June [8]. Sod mats can be as dense as 367 meters of
rhizomes per square meter [36].
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
3 Southern Pacific Border
4 Sierra Mountains
5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
7 Lower Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
12 Colorado Plateau
13 Rocky Mountain Peidmont
14 Great Plains
15 Black Hills Uplift
16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Successional Status

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Quackgrass is an early seral dominant in disturbed areas [15,22,27].
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Synonyms

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.
Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski [4]
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Taxonomy

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: glume

The currently accepted scientific name for quackgrass is Elymus
repens (L.) Gould (Poaceae) [51]. One variety
and six forms have been recognized [18]. Short descriptions will follow
each here, rather than in GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.

Form Glume Lemma Rachis
E. r. aristatum oblong awned smooth
E. r. trichorrhachis oblong blunt hairy
E. r. pilosum oblong awned hairy
E. r. vaillantianum lanceolate awned smooth
E. r. heberhachis lanceolate blunt hairy
E. r. setiferum lanceolate awned hairy

E. r. var. subulatum lanceolate blunt smooth

In the laboratory, quackgrass has been successfully crossed with the
following species [2,18]:

E. r. x E. arenaurius = Agroelymus adamsii Rousseau
E. r. x Pseudoroegneria spicata
E. r. x Agropyron cristatum.
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Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Quackgrass has been used to revegetate mine tailings in Nova Scotia
[48]. A quackgrass/Fairway crested wheatgrass hybrid may be useful for
revegetating mine spoils and roadsides [2].
license
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bibliographic citation
Snyder, S. A. 1992. Elymus repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Physical Description

provided by USDA PLANTS text
Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems trailing, spreading or prostrate, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems solitary, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades 1-2 cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margin s folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence simple spikes, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Inflorescence spikelets arranged in a terminal bilateral spike, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 2 florets, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel hairy, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glumes awned, awn 1-5 mm or longer, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma mucronate, very shortly beaked or awned, less than 1-2 mm, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn less than 1 cm long, Lemma awned from tip, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea longer than lemma, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear, Caryopsis hairy at apex.
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USDA PLANTS text

Elymus repens

provided by wikipedia EN

Elymus repens, commonly known as couch grass, is a very common perennial species of grass native to most of Europe, Asia, the Arctic biome, and northwest Africa. It has been brought into other mild northern climates for forage or erosion control, but is often considered a weed.

Other names include common couch,[1] twitch, quick grass, quitch grass (also just quitch), dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.[2][3][4][5]

Description

It has creeping rhizomes which enable it to grow rapidly across grassland. It has flat, hairy leaves with upright flower spikes. The stems ('culms') grow to 40–150 cm tall; the leaves are linear, 15–40 cm long and 3–10 mm broad at the base of the plant, with leaves higher on the stems 2–8.5 mm broad. The flower spike is 10–30 cm long, with spikelets 1–2 cm long, 5–7 mm broad and 3 mm thick with three to eight florets. The glumes are 7–12 mm long, usually without an awn or with only a short one.

It flowers at the end of June through to August in the Northern Hemisphere.[3][4][6][7]

Taxonomy

Various taxonomic subdivisions of this species have been proposed. Moreover, it is assigned to various genera (Elymus, Elytrigium, Agropyron). In a recent classification, three subspecies are distinguished, one of these with an additional variety:[2][3][4]

  • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens. Throughout most of the range of the species.
    • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens var. repens. Awns usually absent or if present, very short.
    • Elytrigia repens subsp. repens var. aristata (Döll) P.D.Sell. Awns present, up to 15 mm long.
  • Elytrigia repens subsp. elongatiformis (Drobow) Tzvelev (syn. Elytrigia elongatiformis (Drobow) Nevski). Central and southwestern Asia, far southeastern Europe (Ukraine).
  • Elytrigia repens subsp. longearistata N. R. Cui. Western China (Xinjiang).

Hybrids are recorded with several related grasses, including Elytrigia juncea (Elytrigia × laxa (Fr.) Kerguélen), Elytrigia atherica (Elytrigia × drucei Stace), and with the barley species Hordeum secalinum (× Elytrordeum langei (K. Richt.) Hyl.).[3]

Ecology

The foliage is an important forage grass for many grazing mammals.[4] The seeds are eaten by several species of grassland birds, particularly buntings and finches.[8] The caterpillars of some Lepidoptera use it as a foodplant, e.g. the Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola).

Eradication

Couch grass has become naturalised throughout much of the world, and is often listed as an invasive weed.[2] It is very difficult to remove from garden environments, as the thin rhizomes become entangled among the roots of shrubs and perennials, and each severed piece of rhizome can develop into a new plant. It may be possible to loosen the earth around the plant, and carefully pull out the complete rhizome. This is best done in the spring, when disturbed plants can recover.[9][10] Another method is to dig deep into the ground in order to remove as much of the grass as possible. The area should then be covered with a thick layer of woodchips. To further prevent re-growth, cardboard can be placed underneath the woodchips. The long, white rhizomes will, however, dry out and die if left on the surface. Many herbicides will also control it.

Applications

The dried rhizomes of couch grass were broken up and used as incense in medieval northern Europe where other resin-based types of incense were unavailable. Elymus repens (Agropyron repens) rhizomes have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine against fever, internally as a tea, syrup, or cold maceration in water, or externally applied as a crude drug.[11]

References

  1. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ a b c "Elymus repens subsp. repens". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  3. ^ a b c d Flora of NW Europe: Elytrigia repens
  4. ^ a b c d Flora of China: Elytrigia repens
  5. ^ Webster Third International Dictionary (Könemann, 1993) ISBN 3-8290-5292-8
  6. ^ Fitter, R., Fitter, A., & Farrer, A. (1984). Collins Guide to the Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-219128-8.
  7. ^ Hubbard, C. E. Grasses. Penguin Books, 1978
  8. ^ Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
  9. ^ "Couch grass / Royal Horticultural Society". Apps.rhs.org.uk. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  10. ^ Hessayon, Dr D. G. (2007). The pest & weed expert. United Kingdom: Expert. p. 128. ISBN 978-0903505628.
  11. ^ Vogl, S; Picker, P; Mihaly-Bison, J; Fakhrudin, N; Atanasov, A. G.; Heiss, E. H.; Wawrosch, C; Reznicek, G; Dirsch, V. M.; Saukel, J; Kopp, B (2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine--an unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 149 (3): 750–71. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053.

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Elymus repens: Brief Summary

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Elymus repens, commonly known as couch grass, is a very common perennial species of grass native to most of Europe, Asia, the Arctic biome, and northwest Africa. It has been brought into other mild northern climates for forage or erosion control, but is often considered a weed.

Other names include common couch, twitch, quick grass, quitch grass (also just quitch), dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.

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