Monday, October 05, 2015

Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

By Sarah Kenyon, agromony specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Nutsedge emerges as a pale green spike, similar in appearance to a grass seedling. However, the plant is not a grass at all; the leaf blades have no collar region, ligules, or auricles. Viewed from above, the leaves are arranged in three vertical rows (three-ranked arrangement). Grasses have a two-ranked leaf arrangement. The three-ranked leaves, triangular stem, and v shaped leaf blades are the major identifying characteristics of the sedges.

Sedges thrive in wet soil conditions.  With the abundant rainfall experienced this year sedges have emerged in large numbers.  Underground tubers that form at the end of each rootlet are even more important than seeds in the reproduction of yellow nutsedge. The tubers overwinter and survive soil temperatures as low as 20 degrees. The tuber skin contains a chemical that must be washed off by soil moisture before the tuber can sprout. Therefore, yellow nutsedge thrives in wet areas.

Livestock can graze sedges, and this weed can be nutritious when vegetative.  The tubers can also be consumed.  Hogs are recommended as a control strategy since they seek out sedges as a food source.  Chemical control options include Permit, Yukon, Sedgehammer, and Outrider.

For more information, contact any of these MU Extension agronomy specialists in southwest Missouri: Tim Schnakenberg in Stone County, (417) 357-6812; Jill Scheidt in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; John Hobbs in McDonald County, (417) 223-4775 or Sarah Kenyon in Texas County, (417) 967-4545.


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home