Littleseed Canarygrass

Pest: Littleseed canarygrass (Phalaris minor)

Pest Type: Weed

Major Identifying Features: Erect winter annual with dense spikelike flower heads, seedlings are bluish green, the ligule is large and white, leaf sheath has a reddish base, plants grow 4-39 inches tall, branch at the base, have erect stems, leaves are up to 6 inches long, flat, soft, broad, hairless, pale collar region, ligule is 1/5-2/5 inch long, no auricles, flowers are densely packed on a spikelike flower head, grayish-brown bracts

Life Cycle: Winter annual, blooms from March to September, reproduces by seed

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Grows in California up to 1000 feet elevation except in the Great Basin, inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed areas

Damage Information: Competes with nutrients, can be toxic for livestock when ingested in large amounts

Management Options: Prevention, mulching, hoeing, hand-weeding, spot application with herbicide


Dreistadt, Steve H., and Jack Kelly. Clark. Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs: An Integrated Pest Management Guide. Oakland, CA: U of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1994. Print.


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