Turfgrass ID Key

Is it a grass?
Before you can use this vegetative grass key you must first make sure the plant you are trying to identify is a grass. Grasses are often confused with Sedges and Rushes. Use the following criteria to determine if you do have a grass. If you are not familiar basic vegatative structures used in turfgrass identification, you can get a primer on turfgrass anatomy.

Grasses have leaves which are arranged on opposite sides of the stem. The leaves my be directly opposite from each other or may alternate sides up the stem, but the are alwayson opposite sides of the stem. When you look from the top down onto a single turfgrass tiller you should see two sets of leaf blades on each side of the stem.

Sedges have triangular stems with leaf blades on three sides of the stem. They usually do not have split or open sheaths and have no auricles.

Rushes have round wiry leafs. Leaves are arranged in three verticle rows, with solid stems. Ligules and auricles are usually absent.

Select the image which resembles your plant.
If you know you have a grass select the grass image to start the key.

Designed by Dr. Gene R. Taylor II