Grass identification groups

One way to approach pasture grass identification is to first decide between one of four groups, by asking the following questions:

  • The grass is ryegrass or looks smilar to ryegrass?
    (ribs on leaf upper surface)

  • The grass has visible hairs on the leaf blade and/or sheath?

  • The grass is a poa? (3 common species)

  • If none of the above applies the grass should be dull and bluish green?

The few common grasses which do not fall into one of these groups tend to be rather distinctive: fine fescue, ratstail, danthonia, floating sweet grass.


Ryegrass group

  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Italian ryegrass
  • Tall fescue
  • Crested dogstail
  • Meadow foxtail


Grasses with hairs

  • Yorkshire fog
  • Sweet vernal
  • Paspalum
  • Kikuyu
  • Barley grass
  • Prairie grass
  • Couch
  • Summer grass

Dull grasses

  • Browntop
  • Creeping bent
  • Cocksfoot
  • Phalaris
  • Timothy

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