green kyllinga

Green kyllinga (Kyllinga gracillima). Photo: NC State University 2005

Updated: July 20, 2021

Life cycle

Green kyllinga, also called pasture spikesedge, is a non-native perennial plant in the sedge family.

Growth habit 

Produces a network of numerous underground stems (rhizomes) and can root and send out new leaves at each stem node. It has narrow, grass-like leaves. It is often mistaken for nutsedge but unlike nutsedge which grows upright, kyllinga spreads into dense mats and does not have underground tubers. It can handle close mowing.

Reproduction

Prolific seeder 

Conditions that favor growth

Sunny, moist areas but can move into shadier, dry spots.

Photos

Whole plants and roots

Green kyllinga plants

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

Size

Green kyllinga growing in a field

Photo: Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Seedheads

Kyllinga seedheads

Photo: 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.

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 in lawns

  • A difficult weed to control, there are no preemergents labeled to control it. Postemergent herbicides can provide control/suppression, but best used when kyllinga is young and before it forms dense mats.
    Look for the active ingredients: Common Name: Halosulfuron; Trade Name: Sedgehammer and others or Common Name: Sulfentrazone

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