Lush Green Yard Care Blog

8 Most Common Grassy Weeds In Colorado

Nutsedge in lawn

Maintaining that beautiful lush-green lawn of your dreams is a constant battle of wills against the elements. Off-color, rough, and clumped grassy weeds can sneak their way into any small opening in your lawn, marring the picturesque image. Despite your best efforts, grassy weeds can still sneak into your beautiful lawn, but battling them is much easier once you can identify the culprits. You will most likely find the weeds listed below invading your lawn in the Colorado area.

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1) Crabgrass

crabgrass emerging

Colorado’s “Most Common Grassy Weed” title would most likely go to crabgrass. In its early stages, this pesky grassy weed easily blends with healthy grass, hiding until it grows into its mature form. Crabgrass can be identified by the traits below.

  • Light apple green sprouts
  • Grows in bunches
  • Leaves grow to be long and coarse
  • Shallow roots

2) Quackgrass


Quackgrass is another common grassy weed found in Colorado. A perennial grass that looks similar to crabgrass, quackgrass hides among healthy grass before it matures and quickly spreads all over your lawn. The mature plants are easy to identify.

  • Long tapered blades thicker than the average blade of grass
  • Deep roots
  • Hollow stem
  • Leaf blade that wraps around the stem

3) Foxtail

identifying yellow foxtail

One of the heartier grassy weeds on this list, foxtails, can be found all over Colorado. Foxtail is a nuisance weed in more ways than one; not only spreading easily and quickly, but its spiked seeds can also be a danger to animals. Though several different foxtail species grow in Colorado, they share common characteristics that make them easy to identify. 

  • Cylindrical seedheads with spiky hairs, yellow or green in color
  • Mature plants stand between 3-4ft tall
  • Long flat leaf beds
  • Grow in large clusters

4) Nutsedge

Sedge Grass Weeds

Nutsedges are one of the most persistent and contentious weeds on this list, known to infest lawns, garden beds, and really anywhere it can take root. These perennials blend in easily with healthy grass and are challenging to eradicate once they take over. Distinguishing nutsedge from healthy grass is essential for a chance at controlling them.

  • Triangular or V-Shaped stems
  • Thicker leaves are arranged in groups of three
  • Prominent Mid-Veins
  • Grow in large patches

5) Goosegrass

goosegrass seedhead

Goosegrass is another grassy weed that is considered a master of disguise. Not only does it blend well with healthy turf grass, but it’s also often mistaken for another type of grassy weed, such as crabgrass or quackgrass. Fortunately, there are still ways to identify this pesky weed by looking for its key characteristics. 

  • Large and hairy stems
  • Light green colored flower
  • Stems are flat and green, pale green, and occasionally silverish hue
  • Grows in clusters, and branches out in a wagon-wheel-like shape

6) Perennial Ryegrass

identifying Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is a grassy weed that’s also considered a cover crop. Its similar appearance to healthy turfgrass makes this fast-growing weed difficult to identify, which can pose a big problem. Perennial ryegrass outcompetes healthy turfgrass for water and nutrients, which means without intervention, this grassy weed could completely take over your lawn. Identifying perennial ryegrass features are the following:

  • Spiked seedhead
  • Flattened spikelets along each stem
  • Leaves folded in a bud
  • Glossy bright -green, sharp-pointed leaf blade

7) Barnyardgrass

identifying barnyardgrass

This grassy weed makes itself known in the summertime when the mature plants no longer blend into the turf grass. Notoriously tricky to remove, it’s best to identify these nuisance weeds as soon as possible. Thankfully, barnyardgrass is reasonably distinctive once they have fully matured.

  • Thick stems with maroon tint at the base
  • Flat and smooth leaves
  • Faint white vein in the center of leaves
  • Mature weeds grow up to 5 feet tall with spiky seedhead

8) Tall Fescue

identifying Tall Fescue

Though it is often used in turfgrass, tall fescue is considered an unwanted grassy weed by many due to its rapid growth and tendency to outcompete other grass in an area. Often mistaken for crabgrass, it’s essential to correctly identify this grassy weed as herbicides that work on crabgrass will not work on tall fescue, and you risk harming healthy turfgrass. Key characteristics can identify tall fescue.

  • Wide leaf blade
  • Grows in clumps
  • Rough texture
  • Small hairs often found at the base of a leaf
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