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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Rough Barnyard Grass - Echinochloa muricata

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Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR
C-value: 1

Agency Status


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General Description
Annuals 15-120(160) cm tall. Culms glabrous, pith-filled to hollow, decumbent to ascending or erect, sometimes rooting at lower nodes. Leaf blades 4-35(-50) cm long, 2-20 mm wide; sheaths compressed and keeled. Panicle 7-22(-34) mm long, the primary branches appressed or spreading, the branches glabrous to variously hairy, setae (longer, stiffer, and thicker hairs) if present, seldom exceeding length of spikelets. Upper glume and sterile lemma usually both bearing pustular-based setae. Lower glume 1-2.8 mm long; upper glume 2.8-5 mm long, acuminate or awned up to 2.5 mm long; sterile (lower) lemma 2.3-4.5 mm long, acuminate or awned up to about 16 mm; sterile palea ca. 1.5-3.5 mm long; fertile lemma 2.3-5 mm long, acuminate, with a firm, non-withering tip that is neither membranous nor separated from the lemma body by a fine line of hairs. Anthers 0.4-1 mm long (adapted from: Sutherland, 1986, in Flora of the Great Plains).

Lavin (2012, in Lesica [2012], Manual of Montana Vascular Plants) included E. muricata in synonymy of E. crusgalli but noted that many MT specimens appear to have the morphology of E. muricata; namely the firm and stiff apex of the fertile lemma, which also lacks the minute hairs at the base of the tip of the fertile lemma that helps diagnose E. crusgalli.

Range Comments
Widespread across North America (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 27

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Typically in moist and somewhat disturbed areas.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Rough Barnyard Grass — Echinochloa muricata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from