Page author: Don Knoke
Echinochloa crus-galli
barnyard grass, or large barnyard grass

Distribution: Found throughout southern Canada and most of the United States.

Habitat: Cultivted fields and wasteland, usually where moist, especially along irrigation ditches.

Flowers: June - October

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual, the culms decumbent to erect, pith-filled or hollow, 6-16 dm. tall, the nodes glabrous.


Sheaths open, somewhat compressed; ligules none; blades flat, 4-16 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a stiff panicle, the branches spreading to erect, at least 3 cm. long; spikelets subsessile, 3-4 mm. long, borne along one side of the panicle branches; spikelets 2-flowered, the lower flower sterile; glumes unequal, 3-nerved, unawned; sterile lemma acuminate and awn-tipped, the awn sometimes up to 30 mm. long, about equal to the second glume, the palea membranous, about half as long as the lemma; fertile lemma and palea acuminate, hardened, unawned; stamens 3.

Accepted Name:
Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.
Publication: Ess. Agrostogr. 53, 161, 169, pl. 11, f. 2. 1812.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. var. mitis (Pursh) Peterm.
Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) P. Beauv. [HC]
Echinochloa muricata (P. Beauv.) Fernald var. occidentalis Wiegand
Echinochloa occidentalis (Wiegand) Rydb.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Echinochloa crus-galli in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Echinochloa crus-galli checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Echinochloa crus-galli atlas page.

CalPhotos: Echinochloa crus-galli photos.

USDA Plants: Echinochloa crus-galli information.

40 photographs:
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