Scouting for weeds: Fall panicum

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Life cycle
Erect summer annual.


Leaves are hairless at maturity, up to 20 inches long with a prominent, white midvein. Leaf sheaths are also hairless at maturity, and there are no hairs on the sheath margin. Seedlings may have hairs on the lower leaf surface and sheath, becoming less hairy with age.




Erect, bending in a zigzag manner at the nodes, up to 6 feet tall.

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead is a large, open and spreading panicle that may be purple-tinted at maturity and yields small, straw-colored, oval seeds.



Editor’s note: This and more weed identification information is available in the field guide An IPM Pocket Guide for Weed Identification in Field Crops. To order, call 517-353-6740.

Photo 1. Fall panicum collar region.

Photo 2. Prominent, white midvein of
fall panicum.

Photo 3. Fall panicum seedhead.  

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