dallisgrass

Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum), Photo: Kevin Mathias, UMD

Updated: July 14, 2021

Life cycle 

A perennial grass.

Growth habit

Dallisgrass grows in spreading clumps. It has a coarse texture. Leaf blades are a yellow-green color, about ½-inch wide, and have a prominent mid-rib. 

Reproduction

Spreads by seeds and short, thick rhizomes.

Conditions that favor growth

Adapts to areas of poor drainage.

Photos

Growth habit

Dallisgrass growing in a lawn

Photo: John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org

Ligule

Dallisgrass has a pointed, membranous ligule

Photo: John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org

Flowers

Flower stalks have 3 to 5 or more loose spike-like branches

Photo: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Leaf blades

Dallisgrass leaf blades

Photo: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Roots

Roots of dallisgrass. Clumps of this plant expand by short rhizomes.

Photo: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

 

 

Management In lawns

Cultural lawn care 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 management

  • Herbicides should be used as a last resort because of the potential risks to people, animals, and the environment. Be aware of these lawn herbicide 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, which were classically used to control Dallisgrass, are no longer labeled to be used on home turf.