Stem

  • 8-16 in. tall
Barbed goatgrass
Barbed goatgrass stem

Leaves

  • Gray green, 1-4 in. long, ridged and sharp; sparsely covered with long white hairs; ligules are 
    membranous and auricles are clasping
Barbed goatgrass
Barbed goatgrass

Flower

  • Seedheads are 1-2.5 in. long, reddish or purplish then dry to straw color; each spike has 4 sessile spikelets with 1-2 florets each; 3 long, stiff awns come from each glume; awns and glumes are all minutely barbed 
Barbed goatgrass
Barbed goatgrass seed

Root

  • Fibrous; spikelet that led to germination often still attached to base of plant
Barbed goatgrass
Barbed goatgrass root

Other

  • Infests rangelands, grasslands, pastures and croplands; known to occur in Washoe county
  • Winter annual; seeds viable for 2+ years; high silica content produces persistent thatch layer
  • Livestock avoid mature plants due to awns; seedheads stick to clothing and fur
  • Can crossbreed with wheat, producing sterile seed and unsaleable wheat
 

Control

  • Hand pulling or hoeing is effective on small infestations; mowing is ineffective as plants will regrow; deep tilling can place seeds below sprouting depth, but repeated tilling can bring buried seeds to the surface; burning of infested fields may be effective, but will not control seedbank
  • Glyphosate effective on actively growing plants before flowering; chlorsulfuron, imazapic, sulfometuron are effective preemergence and early post emergence
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2020, Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Barbed goatgrass, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide

Learn more about the author(s)

 

Also of Interest:

 
Photo of many green jointed goatgrass plants that look like a field
Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Jointed goatgrass
Jointed goatgrass is a noxious weed that has been identified by the state of Nevada to be harmful to agriculture, the general public, or the environment. Learn more about this weed.
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide
 

Associated Programs

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Master Gardeners of Douglas County

Learn about the Master Gardener program in Douglas County, Nevada.

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Master Gardeners of Nevada

Program trains local gardeners to provide research-based horticulture information to Nevadans

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training cb

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors program tackles the growing problem of weeds on public and private land.