University of Maryland Extension

Yellow nutsedge

(More Lawn Weeds)  (Lawn Control Options)  

Yellow nutsedge
Cyperus esculentusyellow nutsedge

Life cycle

Perennial; Classified as a sedge not technically a grass.

Growth habit 

Leaves shiny, yellow-green, narrow, and grass-like; stems are 3-sided, triangular in cross section.


From small nutlets (tubers) attached to rhizomes/possibly seed.

nutsedge roots and offshoots
Nutsedge spreads by offshoots as well as seed

yellow nutsedge seedhead
Yellow nutsedge seed spike

Conditions that favor growth 

Colonizes wet areas with poor drainage; diverting water or improving drainage can help reduce the weed infestation.


Cultural control: Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.
Mechanical control: Digging out or using an appropriate weeding tool to remove the underground 'nutlets' is the primary means of mechanical control of nutsedge. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. 
General chemical control: (lawns) Spot treat the areas that have nutsedge with a liquid, selective herbicide that contains the active ingredient: Common Name: Halosulfuron; Trade Name: Sedgehammer and others or Common Name: Sulfentrazone

Organic control                                                                          

For a glossary of herbicide terms and additional information see: control options   

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