• 15-30 in. tall with 1 to many stems or tillers; tillers and branching from base of plant can give it a bunchgrass-like appearance
Photo of green jointed goatgrass stem


  • Blue-green, 1-6 in. long, 0.125-0.25 in. wide, simple; alternate; auricles, ligules, leaf sheaths and leaf margins near leaf base have evenly spaced fine hairs which distinguish it from other grass weeds
Photo of many green jointed goatgrass plants



  • Seedhead cylindrical, 1-5 in. long; spikelets held close to the spike, resulting in a jointed look
Photo of the top of green jointed goatgrass plant


  • Fibrous; spiklelet that led to germination commonly still attached to the base of the plant
Photo of a field of jointed goatgrass plants



  • Grows best in grasslands, rangeland, pastures, roadsides, wheat and alfalfa fields; grows well in compacted soils; known to occur in Churchill, Elko and Washoe counties 
  • Winter annual; seeds viable in soil up to 5 years
  • Infestations in wheat can reduce value of crop; may cross-breed with wheat
Photo of green jonted goatgrass seeds still on the plant


  • Hand-pull or hoe small infestations; repeated mowing prior to seed production is effective; tilling to 4 in. depth is effective, but subsequent tilling may return seeds to the surface; burning can kill mature plants and remove thatch, but it will not control the seedbank
  • Apply glyphosate post emergence in late winter or early spring before flowering to actively growing plants; apply imazapic, sulfometuron or sulfometuron+chlorsulfuron preemergence in the fall or post emergence in early spring to young plants after soil thaws
Blecker, L., Creech, E., Dick, J., Gephart, S., Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Moe, A., Schultz, B. 2020, Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Jointed goatgrass, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Field Guide

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

Barbed goatgrass
Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Barbed goatgrass
Barbed 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

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