Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)


  • 0.5-2 ft. tall; slender; round in cross-section


    • 4-12 in. long, less than 0.12 in. wide; sometimes covered with short hairs; collar region usually has long hairs, auricles and a membranous ligule


      • Seedhead is a spike, 0.5-2 in. long; awns are stiff, straight or twisted, barbed and up to 3 in. long; spikes often remain intact on dry plants through winter


        • Fibrous


          • Grows best on clay soils; primarily infests rangeland; known to occur in Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Humboldt, Pershing, Storey and Washoe counties

          • Annual; reproduces by seed; matures 2-4 weeks later than other annual grasses

          • Unpalatable to grazing animals due to high levels of silica in the foliage and long, stiff awns


            • Tillage, mowing or grazing prior to seed set can reduce stands

            • Burning has had mixed results; most effective with a hot, slow fire prior to medusahead seed maturity but after other species have dried-down; burning can also be used to reduce the thatch layer, which canincrease the performance of soil-applied herbicides

            • Apply imazapic or sulfometuron before emergence or to small, actively growing plants; glyphosate to actively growing plants


              Medusahead Plant
              Mature Plant
              Mayweed Chamomile Leaf
              Medusahead Infestation
              Mayweed Chamomile Seed head
              Seed head
              Mayweed Chamomile Seedling
              Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide
              Nevada Noxious Weed Guide