Black-grass Weed

Alopecurus myosuroides

Slender foxtail, Black twitch

Black-Grass: What you need to know

Black-grass thrives on heavy land, particularly where drainage is poor. On light land it is a problem on wetter areas. About 80% of seeds germinates in the autumn. Hot, dry summers see strong early autumn-germination; cool wet autumns see increased dormancy and delayed germination. Increasingly a major problem throughout England and worsening through herbicide resistance.


Tall erect annual. Compact flower spike 3 - 13 cm; narrow and pointed, often tinted purple. Seedling leaf sheath often purple.

Black-Grass Ligule

Black-grass liguleMedium: 2.5 mm. Blunt and finely serrated.










Auricles: Absent.

Leaf blade: Bluish-green, short, flat and hairless. Usually rough with well-defined keel and usually rolled.

What does black-grass look like? 

Black-grass 1
Black-grass 2
Black-grass ligule photoBlack-grass ligule
Black-grass - youngBlack-grass young plant




Black-grass - matureBlack-grass flower head. Photo © Nigel Cattlin/FLPA