Goosegrass—a Summer Annual Grass

Goosegrass (Eleusine indica) is a summer annual grass with a very recognizable growth habit.
Goosegrass—a Summer Annual Grass - Articles


Photo: John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,, goosegrass, Eleusine indica

The plant forms a low growing rosette with pronounced white colored leaf sheaths. Goosegrass reproduces by seeds, which germinate a few weeks after crabgrass. The leaves are folded in the bud, have no auricles, and a toothed ligule that has a visible cut in the center. Crabgrass has some similarities with goosegrass, but it has rolled foliage. Quackgrass is also similar, but has a larger ligule and is a perennial grass. The seeds are produced in late summer and early fall. Seeds are produced in spikes (typically 2-6) at the top of each stem. Being a summer annual, goosegrass dies at the first hard frost.

Goosegrass is a very adaptable plant. It can be a weed issue in turfgrass, landscape beds, nurseries, and agricultural settings. It is also tough and grows in nutritionally poor soil, compacted soil, under low mowing, and tolerates drought unlike our cool season grasses. In turfgrass situations, implementation of proper cultural practices is essential for goosegrass management. There are a number of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

Pre-emergents include:

  • benefin
  • bensulide
  • oxadiazon
  • pendimethalin
  • prodiamine
  • trifluralin, and others


  • dithiopyr (early post emergence, 3-5 leaf stage)
  • fenoxaprop
  • glyphosate (non-selective)
  • quinclorac