Identifying Grass Seedlings

Dallisgrass (Paspalum spp.)

Perennial grasses


There are approximately 10 species of dallisgrass that occur in Missouri. It is a coarse-textured grass that occurs in thick clumps through the spread of its short, thick rhizomes. Its leaves are rolled in the bud and are usually flat and 6–15 mm wide. The ligule is a membrane , and auricles are absent.

Mature dallisgrass Dallisgrass forms thick clumps and spreads through rhizomes.

Collar region SeedheadCollar region: membranous ligule.
Right, seedhead.


Although found in pastures and along rights-of-way, it is most problematic in turfgrass settings. It favors moist conditions.


Distribution: Dallisgrass can be found from the Middle Atlantic states west to California. In Missouri, dallisgrass is found more frequently south of the Missouri River. It was originally introduced into the United States from South America as a forage species.

Similar species

Large crabgrass seedlings and dallisgrass can be confused because of similar characteristics. However, dallisgrass has short rhizomes, while large crabgrass does not. Also, at maturity, large crabgrass is covered with dense hairs, while dallisgrass is not.