Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Quackgrass, Couchgrass, Twitchgrass, Devil's Grass
Elytrigia repens

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Elytrigia (el-i-TRIJ-ee-a) (Info)
Species: repens (REE-penz) (Info)

Synonym:Elymus repens
Synonym:Triticum repens
Synonym:Agropyron repens


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


No positives
No neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Centaurea On Nov 12, 2010, Centaurea from Almere
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Bought a house and property with this _everywhere_ and it is very difficult to remove. I have had to take my potato fork and shovel and dig it out manually, square foot by square foot (about 5-10 minutes per square foot where it is heavily established, which is mostly everywhere). Weed killer doesn't work well (it comes right back from the stolons), smothering with cardboard and inches of mulch doesn't work well (it pokes right through and spreads like wildfire when it hits sunlight if you leave it alone for 5 minutes, or miss a few of the initially small and wispy grassy leaves amongst your plants last time you weeded). I've read that it can grow up to 30 feet a season in ideal conditions. Doesn't surprise me a bit.

Unless you are obliterating an entire area _of everything_ with several applications of herbicide, or very aggressive smothering, or burning several times, all of which are reported to work, and which I can't do, as I'd already plunked in (sensitive!) garden plants before I realized what it was AND I have 2 children and pets I'd rather not expose to heavy concentrations of such chemicals.

Even with digging out every last stolon I can find I fully expect to have to pluck a few that I missed for years to come, as this comes back even from very small segments left in the ground as well as seeds, though slightly less aggressively when it is not so well established. This is going to be a years-long, possibly decades-long project of eradicating this plant.

On the positive side, it is supposed to have some medicinal uses, mostly having to do with the urinary tract from what I could gather.

Negative Terry On Jan 21, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

An aggressive cool-season perennial grass with rhizomes that can spread several feet. The rhizome tips are sharp and yellow. Eradication can be accomplished by burning, chemical applications, or by removing the entire plant and roots.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Aurora, Colorado
Benton, Kentucky
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America