Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski - Quack Grass

Systematic position.

Family Poaceae, genus Elytrigia Desv.

Biological group.

Rhizome perennial weed.

Morphology and biology.

Stalk grows to 120 cm tall. Rhizomes are branchy, braid-like, located at depth of 5 to 15 cm, being resistant to low temperatures. One meter of rhizome bears 200-250 buds that are able to develop as independent plants. Leaf is 5-10 mm wide, flat, with thin veins, with short ligule. Ear is 7-15 cm long, straight, with dense spikelets. Spikelet glabrous, 10-15 mm long, 4-7-floral; spikelet scales lanceolate, 7-10 mm long, with apex 0.5 mm long or with rachis to 6 mm long. Lower floral scale is 7-12 mm long, with apex being more than 0.3 mm or with rachis to 8 mm long. Blossoms in June-August, produces fruit in July-September.


Cosmopolitan weed widely distributed in northern hemisphere. It is a common plant in all territories of Russia and other former USSR countries except for deserts and high mountains. It is generally not found in irrigated fields of Central Asia and Caucasus.


It is widely distributed in forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones, inhabiting meadows, forest clearings, fallows, river flood-lands, coastal sand, steppes, sides of roads, waste places in addition to crops. In droughty conditions of southern steppes, semi-deserts, and deserts it loses its significance as a weed plant. It prefers easy ground. It is found more often in thinned crops, being luciphile, does not bear shade well.

Economic significance.

It is one of the most serious weeds. It litters all cultures. Provokes reproduction of wireworms, May-Bug, Hessian Fly and favors distribution of fungal diseases including different species of rust, spore fungi. The main control measures include rhizome exhaustion, suffocation, and drying. It is suppressed by winter crops, vetch-oat, buckwheat and other cultures of overall sowing.

Reference citations:

Grin.ko N.I., Titov A.Kh., Kvartin V.N., Semernikova A.I., Lapchenkov G.Ya., Dyatlenko V.A. 1987. Weed plants and their control in the Rostov Region. Manual. Persianovka: Donskoi SKHI. 102 p. (In Russian)
Gubanov I.A., Kiseleva K.V., Novikov V.S., Tikhomirov V.N. 2002. The illustrated keys to plants of Middle Russia. V. 1. Moscow: KMK. 526 p. (In Russian)
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weeds in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 454 p. (In Russian)
Ulyanova T.N. 1998. Weeds in the flora of Russia and other CIS states. St. Petersburg: VIR. 344 p. (In Russian)

© Luneva N.N.


Web design —
Kelnik studios