Crabgrass Smooth

Pest: Smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum)

Pest Type: Annual Grass Weed


Major Identifying Features: Low-growing, grows 6 inches tall, light green seedling leaves, true leaves are dark green and 5 inches long, forms patches, similar flowers to bermudagrass, but crabgrass flower whorls originate 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart at the end of the stem, bract is brownish-black, smaller than large crabgrass

Life Cycle: Summer annual, spreads by seed and from rooting of the joints, dies with the first frost in fall, germinates from mid-January to early April, flower in July and August

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Easy

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Grows in lawns, ornamental landscapes, and vegetable gardens, wide spread in California except high elevations and dry areas

Damage Information: Aesthetically unpleasing, competes with turfgrass

Management Options: Cultural control by improving vigor of turf grass by proper mowing, selecting good turf species, overseeding, proper irrigation and fertilziation, mulching, solarization, chemical control with herbicides (not in vegetable gardens!), WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS


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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