Identifying Grass Seedlings

Broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus)

Perennial grasses


Broomsedge is a perennial grass that forms clumps in many pastures, hay fields, and abandoned fields, and often goes unnoticed until it matures into a reddish brown clump of broomlike leaves. Leaves are folded in the shoot and are without auricles. A membranous ligule occurs that is approximately 1–2 mm long and rounded (sometimes with hairs along the top). Leaf blades are distinctly keeled and approximately 4–6 mm wide and from 4–24 inches in length. Leaves are usually hairy near the leaf base.

Mature broomsedgeMature broomsedge.
Mature broomsedgeBroomsedge matures into a reddish brown clump of broomlike leaves.

Collar region SeedlingCollar region: membranous ligule; leaves hairy near the base.
Right, broomsedge seedling.


Broomsedge is one of the most common grass weeds of many pastures and hay fields in Missouri.


Broomsedge is found in the eastern half of the United States and in California.

Similar species

The distinctly flattened and keeled leaves and sheaths that turn reddish brown with maturity help to distinguish this weed from other species that might occur in these environments.