Kentucky IPM



Identifying Grasses

Identifying Broadleaf Weeds

Monocot Weeds List

Dicot Weeds List




Broadleaf Weeds

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Helpful Hints To Identifying Grasses

Grass: a narrow-leaved plant

Most plants having narrow leaves with parallel veins are called grasses. Seedling grasses are generally more difficult to identify than seedling broadleaf weeds. As grasses grow they usually develop features that help distinguish them from one another.

Parts of a Grass Plant

The leaf of a grass plant is composed of three basic parts:

  • The blade is the flattened portion of the leaf.

  • The collar is the junction between the blade and the sheath.

  • The sheath is the portion of the leaf surrounding the stem.
Parts of a Grass Plant

Other parts of the leaf are:

  • The ligule is a membrane-like structure attached to the collar on the inside of the leaf.

  • The auricles are claw-like appendages attached to the collar and surrounding the stem.

Key factors in identifying many grasses are the presence or absence of ligules and auricles and their size and shape.
Examples of leaf pubescence

Identification of grasses is also aided by the presence of hairs (called pubescence) on various plant parts. Length, density and location of these hairs will vary for different grasses. The absence of hairs (called glabrous) on parts of the plant can also serve as a key in identification of the plant.