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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Quackgrass
Species Profiles



Scientific name: Elymus repens (L.) Gould subsp. repens (ITIS)

Synonyms: Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.; Agropyron repens var. subulatum (Schreb.) Roemer & J.A. Schultes; Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex B.D. Jackson; Elytrigia repens var. vaillantiana (Wulfen & Schreb.) Prokudin; Elytrigia vaillantiana (Wulfen & Schreb.) Beetle; Triticum repens L.; Triticum vaillantianum Wulfen & Schreb.

Common names: Quackgrass, medusa's head, Quackgrass rye, Quackgrass grass

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Klein 2011)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1600s (Klein 2011)

Means of Introduction: Accidental, probably as a seed contaminant (Klein 2011; Werner and Rioux 1977)

Impact: Crowds out native species and cultivated crops (Klein 2011)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

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Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S. - Fact Sheet: Elytrigia repens
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse: Species Biography - Quackgrass (Feb 7, 2011; PDF | 141 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Natural Heritage Program.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Quackgrass
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Species Compendium - Elymus repens
CAB International.


Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Elymus repens
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Elymus repens
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Quackgrass
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Invasive Plant Species in Alaska - Quackgrass (PDF | 1.39 MB)
DOI. NPS. Alaska Exotic Plant Management Team.

Guide to Weeds in British Columbia - Quackgrass
British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries (Canada).

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (Canada).


Encycloweedia: Data Sheet - Quackgrass
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources.

Quackgrass (Elytrigia repens) Control Methods in Organic Agriculture (PDF | 1.28 MB)
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Quackgrass - Integrated Pest Management Prescription (PDF | 290 KB)
Thurston County (Washington). Noxious Weed Program.


Quackgrass Management on Organic Farms (PDF | 347 KB)
University of Maine. Sustainable Agriculture Program.

Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide - Quackgrass
Ohio State University. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Quackgrass Management: An Integrated Approach - Agronomy Facts 5
Pennsylvania State University. Crop and Soil Science.

Texas State University System. Institute for the Study of Invasive Species.


Colorado Weed Management Association.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Elymus repens. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Klein, H. 2011. Quackgrass (PDF | 141 KB). University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse.

Werner, P.A., and R. Rioux. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 24. Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 57(3):905-919.

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Last Modified: Nov 19, 2015
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