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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 ligule
Medium: 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 photo
Black-grass ligule
Black-grass - young
Black-grass young plant
Black-grass - mature
Black-grass flower head. Photo © Nigel Cattlin/FLPA

More information on Black-Grass

For practical tips and advice about all aspects of black-grass control, look no further.

Click here