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california weed with little purple flowers with foxtail seeds

Appearance: The leaves of bermudagrass are folded in the bud, and the sheath is strongly compressed. The leaf is short, approximately 1/8 inch wide with rough edges. The seedhead of Bermudagrass consists of 3 – 7 finger-like spikes.

Range: throughout the United States except in the Rocky Mountains

Range: throughout the United States

Bermuda Grass (Cynoden Dactylon)

Growth: Barnyardgrass is a summer annual which has tillers which lie flat and form secondary roots resulting in a mat formation. Barnyardgrass spreads by seed which germinate in late spring and early summer. The seedhead is a coarsely branched green to purplish panicle with spiked awns.

Range: Eastern half of the northeastern United States, except in the extreme South

Range: throughout the United States, especially troublesome east of the Mississippi River

Range: throughout the United States

Foxtail weed (Setaria) has wide leaf blades, much like the turf grass in which it may grow. The base of the leaves has fine hairs and the stem rises from a collar at the base of the leaf. Stems bear 3 to 10 inch (8-20 cm.) long spikes of flowers, which yield to seeds at the end of the season.

Post-emergence herbicides are your best bet for killing foxtail weeds. Choose one that is safe for use in turf grass and that specifies its use against foxtail. Broad-spectrum herbicides can be more harmful than helpful and tend to kill species that you do not want to eradicate.

What is Foxtail Weed?

If you are against chemical herbicide use, pull off the seed heads to prevent the plant from repopulating the area. Dig deeply to get the long roots, using a long slender weeding tool.

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The plant is often hard to spot when mixed in with grass, as it starts out low to the ground with leaves parallel to the soil. Three main types are common in North America. These are:

Begin before you even see the weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide safe for turf grasses. Several products are on the market that will work well against foxtail emergence. Be sure to check with your local extension service if you are in doubt about the effectiveness or safety of an herbicide.