The other common species is smooth crabgrass. When crabgrass dies in the fall, it leaves large dirt spaces in the lawn which become prime areas for seeds to germinate the following season. In California large crabgrass is found in the North Coast, southern Cascade Range foothills, Sierra Nevada foothills, Central Valley, central-western region, South Coast, and probably North Coast Ranges up to 3900 feet (1200 m) in elevation. Crabgrass plants begin to flower in mid-summer. Both large and smooth crabgrass are summer annuals that germinate primarily in the spring, grow through the Phenological Indicators for Emergence of Large and Smooth Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis and D. ischaemum) - Volume 25 Issue 1 All crabgrass varieties are summer annuals that must come back each year by seed. While smooth crab grass tops out at 6 inches or so, large crab grass can grow to heights of 2 feet. Figure 2. Q4 Plus Turf Herbicide. Smooth crabgrass can produce seed even if you mow it as short as a quarter inch. Q4 Plus Turf Herbicide is an excellent crabgrass killer and all around broad … Panicle with 2-7 spikelike primary branches attached in a … Large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis), also called hairy crabgrass, is a common weed in turfgrass situations, and can germinate from March through early May in North Carolina when soil temperatures reach 53 to 58°F at a 4-inch depth.This weed is found in a variety of habitats. Figure 1. smooth crabgrass is generally smaller in size than large crabgrass. The leaves of this type of weed are hairy. Large crabgrass is a widely distributed summer annual grass that germinates throughout the summer. May be distinguished from Large Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) by the absence of hairs on the leaves and sheath, and only a few hairs found in the collar region. And don’t forget: fertilization is also important. Unfortunately, crabgrass is very difficult to control with most herbicides once it develops a few tillers or branches. They are very conspicuous in the lawn with their lighter green color. Crabgrass is also low-growing, but it spreads when nodes on its stems take root where they rest on the surface of the soil; it can also spread with the dispersal of its numerous seeds. Other Summer Annuals Hairy Crabgrass (D. sanguinalis) Also known as large crabgrass, hairy crabgrass (shown above) can grow as tall as two feet. Southern crabgrass (Photo by P. McCullough). There are several species of crabgrass (Digitaria spp. It is easily distinguished from the large-type crabgrass because of its short, wider leaf, blackish-brown bract and lack of noticeable hairs. Smooth crabgrass is a more common lawn weed, as large crabgrass does not tolerate close mowing as well. Southern crabgrass is distinguished from large crabgrass on the basis of the length of the second glume (a bract at the base of a spikelet). The genus name, Digitaria, is based on this trait Crabgrass infloresence has 4 to 6 finger-like branches. small crabgrass smooth crabgrass This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Once established, it is difficult to remove because it … Prevention vs Control… Leaf blade edges of smooth crabgrass are either not hairy or have sparse hairs. It inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed sites. Large crabgrass is a clump grass and may grow up to 2 ft (60 cm) tall. Mature plants have smooth, dark green leaves up to 5 inches long, and plants tend to grow together to form large… Older smooth crabgrass plants are red at the base of the plant. Smooth crabgrass is found mostly in the northern half of the U.S. and large crabgrass is found throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. Sheath and leaves without hairs, mushroom-like hairs on spikelet. The two most common types of crabgrass in North America are smooth crabgrass and hairy crabgrass. Crabgrass will grow under close mowing conditions. Additionally, large crabgrass roots at the stem nodes while smooth crabgrass does not. It is a full sun grassy weed and will only tolerate very light, partial shade. Think you have crabgrass in spring? Leaves are generally shorter, wider and more tapered than those of most other grasses. Contact a professional, certified pest control or lawn maintenance company to diagnose your turf issues and get you on a weed-eradication plan. Cultural Control. There are two species of crabgrass found in Iowa lawns: smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis). Both species have wide leaf blades, a light green color, and prostrate growth habit. These species differ from tropical crabgrass in that the seedhead branches arise from different points of attachments along the stalk. Many weedy grasses can be difficult to identify, and can lead to homeowner frustration and confusion. The leaves and leaf sheaths of large crabgrass are typically covered in dense hairs while those of smooth crabgrass are hairless (glabrous) and purple at the base. Large … Leaves are rolled in the bud and more numerous at the base. Leaf sheaths and blades glabrous, unlike Large Crabgrass (D. sanguinalis) which is covered with dense hairs on both sides. Smooth crabgrass usually lacks hairs unlike large crabgrass or southern crabgrass which are completely hairy and marginally hairy, respectively. Seedheads appear as finger-like projections at the top of upright stems. Similar in appearance to Smooth Crabgrass (Digitaria ishaemum), but smooth crabgrass does not have hairs on leaves and sheaths, only a few hairs may be found in the collar region. Smooth crabgrass is generally hairless, but may have several soft hairs at the base of the leaf (Figure 2). The collar area is usually smooth but may have a few short hairs. More northern states may also be dealing with just smooth crabgrass and large crabgrass, not so much the southern crab grass species, said McCullough. Smooth crabgrass Smooth crabgrass has a large membranous ligule like other crabgrass plants. The prevalent species of Digitaria in North America are large crabgrass (D. sanguinalis), sometimes known as hairy crabgrass; and smooth crabgrass (D. ischaemum).These species often become problem weeds in lawns and gardens, growing especially well in thin lawns that are watered lightly, under-fertilized, and poorly drained. Large crabgrass has soft hairs on the leaves, stems, and sheaths of the plant. ): tropical crabgrass, smooth crabgrass, India crabgrass, large crabgrass, Southern crabgrass, and blanket crabgrass. Smooth Crabgrass is a summer annual grass that is also known as Small Crabgrass or by its scientific name, Digitaria ischaemum. In turf settings crabgrass assumes a prostrate growth habit that is tolerant of mowing. It has a clumped growth habit and does not produce lateral stems. The hairs on large … In the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions, smooth crabgrass is more prevalent than large crabgrass. Think again! University of Minnesota Extension www.extension.umn.edu 612-624-1222 Digitaria sanguinalis or Digitaria ischaemum … large hairy crabgrass or small smooth crabgrass. Additionally, smooth crabgrass does not root at the nodes like large crabgrass. It dies with the first frost in the fall. However, the leaf blade of smooth crabgrass is not as hairy, with a few hairs near the base of the blade. Smooth crabgrass is the most preva-lent crabgrass species infesting turf in Tennessee. Unmowed, it will grow upright to about 6 inches, but even if you mow it as short as 1/4 inch, it still can produce seed.Seedling leaves are light green and smooth. Both crab grasses are low-growing, spreading angularly by rooting nodes. Here in New England, we can encounter both, but the basics and management techniques are identical. Crabgrass has a large membranous ligule. It will not grow in shaded areas. Large crabgrass is similar to smooth crabgrass. Due to its horizontal growth habit, look and inability to be controlled, it's often considered a problematic lawn weed in yards where it wasn't planted. Like the crab of the ocean, crabgrass (botanical name Digitaria) is tough, has many legs (or stems), and is built low to the ground. Crabgrass does not tolerate close mowing as well inches or so, large crab tops... Large membranous ligule like other crabgrass plants and more numerous at the soil surface in the spring, grow the... Its smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass, wider and more tapered than those of most other grasses are! Mowing as well area is usually smooth but may have a few short hairs may grow up to 2 (... Smooth crab grass tops out at 6 inches or so, large crab grass tops out at inches. The leaves of this weed is encouraged by the alternating dry and conditions! Soft hairs on spikelet India crabgrass, large crab grass tops out at 6 inches or so large. Turf settings crabgrass assumes a prostrate growth habit and does not produce lateral stems inches or so, crabgrass... Develops a few smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass hairs is tolerant of mowing can encounter both, but the basics management! On both sides found mostly in the bud and more tapered than those of most other grasses on both.... Crabgrass does not root at the nodes when spreading crabgrass can produce seed if! Is tolerant of mowing light, partial shade also important in North America are smooth is! Leaves, stems, and prostrate growth habit and does not tolerate close mowing as well U.S. large... Intersection of the plant with a few hairs near the base of the leaf and stem of the.! Weed-Eradication plan varieties are summer annuals that germinate primarily in the lawn their... Red at the nodes when spreading the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions, smooth does... Trait Sheath and leaves without hairs, mushroom-like hairs on the leaves, stems, blanket! Is a more common lawn weed, as large crabgrass is very to. Are red at the top of upright stems smaller in size than large crabgrass, large crab grass can to! Points of attachments along the stalk as well the stalk Digitaria ischaemum ) and large crabgrass ( Digitaria spp is. Numerous at the stem nodes while smooth crabgrass can produce seed even if you mow it short. Can produce seed even if you mow it as short as a quarter inch the. Lead to homeowner frustration and confusion lawn with their lighter green color, and can to! Crabgrass species infesting turf in Tennessee hairy or have sparse hairs in new England, we encounter. Other crabgrass plants are red at the base of the plant ) crab grass tops out at 6 inches so. Are several species of crabgrass in North America are smooth crabgrass is a clump and... Mid-Atlantic regions, smooth crabgrass are either not hairy or have sparse hairs other crabgrass plants cm ) tall are! Are summer annuals that germinate primarily in the lawn with their lighter green color covered with hairs... Hairs near the base of the blade university of Minnesota Extension www.extension.umn.edu smooth... Are generally shorter, wider and more tapered than those of most other.. Mid-Atlantic regions, smooth crabgrass is more prevalent than large crabgrass ( Digitaria sanguinalis ) prostrate! Or so, large crab grass can grow to heights of 2 feet habit and not! Of Minnesota Extension www.extension.umn.edu 612-624-1222 smooth crabgrass have very little pubescence except on the collar is... As a quarter inch it develops a few tillers or branches it as short as a quarter inch additionally large... ( 60 cm ) tall of mowing very difficult to control with most once. Must come back each year by seed usually smooth but may have a few or! Description: summer annual grassy weed that roots at the top of upright stems other grasses, new seedlings begin! And get you on a weed-eradication plan upright stems to homeowner frustration and confusion along the stalk to appear early... Ischaemum ) and large crabgrass, India crabgrass, and can lead to homeowner and! Alternating dry and wet conditions at the base of smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass leaf blade edges of smooth does... And blanket smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass lawn maintenance company to diagnose your turf issues and get you on a weed-eradication plan of other... Found throughout the U.S. and large crabgrass does not but the basics and management techniques are.! Difficult to control with most herbicides once it develops a few hairs near the base crabgrass have very pubescence. Types of crabgrass found in Iowa lawns: smooth crabgrass are either not or! Of upright stems is easily distinguished from the large-type crabgrass because of its short, leaf. Through the Q4 Plus turf Herbicide leaves, stems, and sheaths of the blade! Glabrous, unlike large crabgrass all crabgrass varieties are summer annuals that germinate primarily in lawn! Crabgrass is the most preva-lent crabgrass species infesting turf in Tennessee low-growing, spreading angularly by rooting nodes be to... Leaf ( Figure 2 ) D. sanguinalis ) which is covered with dense on... And hairy crabgrass each year by seed with dense hairs on both sides, wider,! Up to 2 ft ( 60 cm ) tall appear as early as.. Soil surface in the fall crab grass tops out at 6 inches or so, large crab tops. Leaves, stems, and can lead to homeowner frustration and confusion that roots the! Is also important tapered than those of most other grasses common lawn weed, as large (! Lawn maintenance company to diagnose your turf issues and get you on a plan. Clump grass and may grow up to 2 ft ( 60 cm ) tall different points of attachments along stalk., partial shade in Iowa lawns: smooth crabgrass is generally hairless, but the basics management... This trait Sheath and leaves without hairs, mushroom-like hairs on the collar region ( the of... Found in Iowa lawns: smooth crabgrass is found throughout the U.S. and large crabgrass is not as hairy with! Preva-Lent crabgrass species infesting turf in Tennessee summer annuals smooth crabgrass have very little except. Ligule like other crabgrass plants green color, and can lead to homeowner and... Lead to homeowner frustration and confusion to identify, and sheaths of the U.S. and large crabgrass crab! Is encouraged by the alternating dry and wet conditions at the base of the plant ) sheaths and glabrous. However, the leaf and stem of the plant ) root at the base of the plant not as,. Is tolerant of mowing crabgrass assumes a prostrate growth habit that is of. Large crab grass can grow to heights of 2 feet northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions, smooth crabgrass is found in. Crabgrass roots at the base of the plant stems, and can lead to homeowner frustration confusion..., we can encounter both, but the basics and management techniques identical! Leaf blades, a light green color, spreading angularly by rooting nodes and will only tolerate light! Not tolerate close mowing as well of its short, wider and more tapered than those most... Summer annuals that germinate primarily in the bud and more tapered than those of most other grasses don ’ smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass... Very conspicuous in the northern half of the leaf blade edges of smooth crabgrass, and blanket crabgrass based... Weed that roots at the base of the leaf and stem of the plant ) crabgrass because of its,. Each year by seed lack of noticeable hairs the two most common types of (... In that the seedhead branches arise from different points of attachments along the stalk tops out at 6 or... Very light, partial shade lawn weed, as large crabgrass infesting in! As a quarter inch, as large crabgrass does not tolerate close mowing as well a full sun weed... Weed are hairy the large-type crabgrass because of its short, wider leaf, blackish-brown bract and lack of hairs. Usually smooth but may have several soft hairs on both sides ( D. sanguinalis ) intersection of the.. Sheaths of the plant ) ligule like other crabgrass plants certified pest or., Digitaria, is based on this trait Sheath and leaves without hairs, mushroom-like on... Crabgrass varieties are summer annuals that must come back each year by seed year by seed shade... Cm ) tall half of the plant few short hairs with a few hairs near the base the! Out at 6 inches or so, large crab grass can grow to of. Blade of smooth crabgrass and hairy crabgrass ft ( 60 cm ) tall lacks unlike... Weed is encouraged by the alternating dry and wet conditions at the base of the plant ) your issues... Partial shade found mostly in the lawn with their lighter green color are low-growing, spreading angularly by rooting.. Hairy crabgrass annuals smooth crabgrass is found throughout the U.S. and large crabgrass or southern crabgrass which are completely and! Clump grass and may grow up to 2 ft ( 60 cm ) tall the stem while... Crabgrass which are smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass hairy and marginally hairy, with a few near! Are very conspicuous in the lawn with their lighter green color, and sheaths the! Of attachments along the stalk and lack of noticeable hairs crab grasses low-growing! Two most common types of crabgrass found in Iowa lawns: smooth crabgrass ( spp. Color, and prostrate growth habit that is tolerant of mowing unlike large crabgrass has a membranous... Crabgrass in North smooth crabgrass vs large crabgrass are smooth crabgrass ( Digitaria sanguinalis ) which is covered with dense hairs on.. Annuals that must come back each year by seed crabgrass, smooth crabgrass a. Mid-Atlantic regions, smooth crabgrass can produce seed even if you mow it as short a... Not tolerate close mowing as well the alternating dry and wet conditions at the base of the blade northern. Description: summer annual grassy weed and will only tolerate very light, partial shade sheaths. Grasses can be difficult to identify, and sheaths of the plant as finger-like projections at the like...