Family:     Poaceae (Grass family)

Duration:  Annual

Height:     30 - 200 cm (1-6.5 ft)

Blooming: July-Sept.


Barnyard Grass

Echinochloa crus-galli  (L.) Beauv.

Stalk: coarse with thick culms branching from the base.


Flowers: densely crowed spikelets with two florets per spikelet.  The stigmas on the florets are red.  The whole of the inflorescence is 5-25 cm (2-10 in) long and hairy. 

Leaves: blades can be up to 65 cm (26 in) long and 5-30 mm (0.2-1.2 in) wide.  They are narrow and sword-like in their shape with a prominent midrib and sometimes sparsely hairy.  The sheaths are smooth and many times red at the base.

Comments: Barnyard grass is found on areas of disturbed ground.  There are native species that closely resemble this species.  It was introduced well over a hundred years ago from Eurasia.  Barnyard grass' roots release an herbicide of sorts that prevent other plant species to grow near it.  It has also been known to hybridize with our native species.  It negatively affects agriculture with a loss of yield depending on the grass density.

Etymology: The epithet, crus-galli, is Latin for "cockspur". The genus Echinochloa is derived from two Greek words, echinos and -chloa, which mean "hedgehog" and "grass".


all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Exotic
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The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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