University of Missouri Extension

IPM1024, Revised October 2010

Identifying Grass Seedlings

Stinkgrass (Erogrostis cilianensis)

Summer annual grasses


A summer annual grass weed that emits a distinctive odor.

Mature stinkgrassMature stinkgrass.

Collar region SeedheadCollar region: hairy ligule.
Right, seedhead: triangular pannicle.


Stinkgrass is a common grass weed of many agronomic and horticultural crops, gardens, pastures, and hayfields. Leaves are rolled in the bud and are approximately 5–10 mm wide. Leaves are smooth and glossy below, while upper leaf surfaces are rough and may have hairs along the margins. Auricles are absent and the ligule is a fringe of hairs that is usually less than 1 mm long. The seedhead is a triangular panicle that has a grayish green cast. Individual spikelets are gray to silver in color.


Found throughout the United States.

Similar species

Yellow foxtail has a similar ligule and collar region, but the sheaths of yellow foxtail are usually distinctively flat, unlike stinkgrass.

IPM1024 Identifying Grass Seedlings | University of Missouri Extension

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