Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Cynodonteae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Digitaria dactylon (L.) Scop., Panicum dactylon (L.) Lam.

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)


Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, sessile, ovate to elliptic, strongly laterally compressed, 2–3.2 mm long, consisting of 1 fertile floret and sometimes an upper sterile floret (or merely a slender appressed rachilla extension). Disarticulation below the fertile floret.

Glumes persistent, similar, lanceolate, shorter than spikelet, subequal in width, thinner than fertile lemma, herbaceous, often purplish, keeled, 1-veined, lateral veins absent, apices acute. Lower glume 1.5–2 mm long. Upper glume 1.4–2.3 mm long, 0.5–0.8 length of adjacent fertile lemma.

Fertile floret triangular in cross-section.

Lemma ovate in outline, laterally compressed, 1.9–3.1 mm long, cartilaginous, faintly purplish-brown, pubescent (including margins and keel), keeled, 3-veined.

Palea glabrous, keeled, 2-veined.

Caryopsis ellipsoid to ovoid, laterally compressed, 1–1.5 mm long x 0.5–0.7 mm wide, yellowish- to reddish-brown, base puckered, apex with persistent styles (but sometimes broken off), hilum ± round, dark.

Similar Species

Distichlis spicata

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)