University of Maryland Extension


(More Lawn Weeds)  (Lawn Control Options)  

Elusine indica



Summer annual.

Growth habit 

Grows up to 2' tall; entire plant appears flattened; light green to white at the base of stems.



Conditions that favor growth 

Mowing the lawn too short.


Cultural control: Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.
Mechanical control: 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.
General chemical control: (lawns) A granular (apply with a spreader), selective, preemergent herbicide. There are numerous products on the market. Look for a preemergent without nitrogen fertilizer. Active ingredients include: bensulide, dithiopyr, pendimethalin, and prodiamine.

A postemergent, selective, herbicide that contains: Common Name: Fenoxaprop-p-ethyl;Trade Name: Acclaim Extra, others. Works on young goosegrass. 

Rainfall or irrigation is required to dissolve the herbicide, which is then absorbed into the upper portion of the soil and forms a barrier which kills weed seedlings. Preemergent grass herbicides have residual activity that lasts for several weeks after application. High temperatures and rainfall will decrease the length of time they remain at sufficient concentration to be effective.

Tips for application:

  • If planning soil disturbance, such as aeration, do it before application.
  • Apply prior to seed germination which begins when soil temperatures are above 55° to 60°F for 7 to10 days (during and shortly after, forsythia bloom is a rough, but not consistently reliable, guide for application). 
  • Water after application, according to label.
  • A second application may be possible, usually 6-8 weeks later (see label).
  • Consult label for specific waiting period between application and overseeding.

Organic control: 

Publication: (PDF) TT43-Herbicides for Crabgrass and Goosegrass Control in Turf



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