Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. Crab Grass
Fl.Carniol. Ed.2, 1:52-53 (1771)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Friday 5 November 1993

Decumbent, tufted annual, grass-like or herb, 0.15-1 m high. Fl. green-purple, Dec or Jan to May. Sand, loam, alluvium.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren, Western Mallee.

IMCRA Regions: WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Augusta Margaret River, Bayswater, Boddington, Capel, Claremont, Corrigin, Cunderdin, Denmark, Joondalup, Kalamunda, Kent, Kulin, Mandurah, Manjimup, South Perth, Swan, Victoria Plains.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

Alternative Names. Summer grass, hairy crabgrass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Mowing, movement of seed in hay. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4.

Notes. Commonly found in lawns, gardens and disturbed areas. Has association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. A fungal pathogen has reduced the fecundity of this species in some areas and is a potential candidate for a biocontrol agent. Can release growth inhibitors in root exudates that retards germination and growth of other species. Has recorded herbicide resistance.

Additional information. Origin. North Africa, temperate Asia, tropical Asia, Europe. History of use/introduction. Animal fodder. Similar exotic species. Digitaria ciliaris.

Suggested method of management and control. Small infestations and individual plants can be hand removed by releasing the roots with a knife or trowel, ensure sprawling stems are also removed. Otherwise spray 1% glyphosate in spring. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth     Y Y Y       Y Y Y    
Flowering Y Y O O               Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y                    
Optimum Treatment     O O O       Y Y Y O  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx - Accessed October 2009.

Project information and acknowledgements