University of Maryland Extension


(More Lawn Weeds)

Paspalum dilatatum

Dallisgrass in turf
Photo: Dallisgrass, Paspalum dilatatum

Life cycle 

A perennial grass.

Growth habit

Dallisgrass grows in spreading clumps. Has a coarse texture. Leaf blades are a yellow-green color and are about ½ wide. There is a white vein that runs down the middle of the leaf blade. 


Spreads by seed.

Conditions that favor growth

Adapts to areas of poor drainage.

Management In Lawns

  • Cultural practices
    Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment. Correct areas of poor drainage.

  • Mechanical management 
    Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.

  • Chemical Treatment 
    Herbicides should be used as a last resort because of the potential risks to people, animals, and the environment. Be aware of  these precautions first.
    Certain postemergent herbicides labeled to kill crabgrass are also labeled for dallisgrass control. Check product labels. Small infestations can be dug out or sprayed with a non-selective herbicide that contains glyphosate. Reseed the area after you are certain that you have 100% kill. Herbicides that contain MSMA and DSMA, that were classically used to control Dallisgrass, are no longer labeled to be used on home turf. 

  • Organic Lawn Herbicides


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