Weed of the Week

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This week’s weed is yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). Yellow nutsedge is a perennial weed that can spread quickly into the turf and surrounding beds. This grassy weed is actually in the sedge family (remember: sedges have edges!). As you can see, the leaves of this weed are a darkish lime color and look folded. It has a very deep midrib that juts out in the back creating a permanent crease. Each leaf is layered around the leaves in front of them creating a whorled arrangement. The tips of the leaves taper down to a very narrow point, allowing them to easily puncture through landscape fabric and plastic. Another key ID feature is that yellow nutsedge produces tan tubers (spherical appendages used for food storage) on the ends of roots/rhizomes. When yellow nutsedge is not controlled, it will produce a seed head that is golden brown in color. It will also produce additional tubers in late June and July that will make it more difficult to get rid of later.

Control methods include a granular pre-emergent like (Freehand) applied to dry foliage, in early spring, and watered in. Spray pre-emergents include (Echelon) and (Tenacity). Postemergence controls include (Basagran) and (Sedgehammer), or careful spot treatments with glyphosate (Roundup) or glufosinate (Finale). 

Always remember that when using chemicals, please be sure to read and follow all labels and instructions! If you need any help or have questions about how/when to apply, or which chemicals you can use and where, just call our office! We will be happy to help!

yellow nutsedge yellow nutsedge

Written By

Cari Mitchell, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionCari MitchellExtension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture Call Cari Email Cari N.C. Cooperative Extension, Alexander County Center
Updated on May 12, 2021
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