Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Echinochloa crus-galli


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1994. Echinochloa crus-galli. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ECHCRU SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : ECCR ECCRC ECCRO COMMON NAMES : barnyard grass common barnyard grass TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of barnyard grass is Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. [16,19,45,80]. It is a member of the Poaceae family. There are two varieties of barnyard grass [1,72]: E. c. var. crus-galli E. c. var. oryzicola (Vas) Ohwi LIFE FORM : Graminoid FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Barnyard grass is a weed of Eurasian origin that occurs throughout the continental United States. It is also found in southern Canada from British Columbia east to Novia Scotia [19,27,39,57,63]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES31 Shinnery FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie FRES41 Wet grasslands FRES42 Annual grasslands STATES : AZ AR CA CO CT FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC AB BC MB NB NS ON PQ SK MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K048 California steppe SAF COVER TYPES : 20 White pine - northern red oak - red maple 22 White pine - hemlock 23 Eastern hemlock 28 Black cherry - maple 39 Black ash - American elm - red maple 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 53 White oak 55 Northern red oak 57 Yellow-poplar 58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock 59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak 63 Cottonwood 67 Mohrs (shin) oak 110 Black oak 217 Aspen 235 Cottonwood - willow SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : In the Sacramento Valley of California, barnyard grass occurs in wetland communities with swamp grass (Crypsis schoenoides) and bearded sprangletop (Leptochloa fascicularis) [47]. Barnyard grass is found in the southern High Plains region of northern Texas and southern New Mexico. In this region, it is codominant with red sprangletop (L. filiformis) in wet meadow and prairie communities and is also found in shinnery communities [4,5]. Barnyard grass occurs in temporarily flooded palustrine wetlands of the northern prairie and plains communities [26,83]. In eastern Colorado and western Kansas, barnyard grass occurs in the plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides) riparian zone. Common associates include saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), sandbar willow (Salix exigua), and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) [38,60]. Barnyard grass is also a member of saltcedar and willow-cottonwood communities in Arizona [55]. Barnyard grass is the dominant species in some wetlands of North Dakota. Common associates include water plantain (Alisma triviale), American slough grass (Beckmannia syzigachne), needle spikerush (Eleocharis acicularis), hedge hyssop (Gratiola neglecta), and pale smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) [16,63]. In South Dakota, barnyard grass occurs in mixed-grass prairie dominated by blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), and needlegrass (Stipa spp.). Other associates include needleleaf sedge (Carex eleocharis), Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) [37,71]. In tallgrass prairies of northeast Kansas, barnyard grass occurs in communities dominated by big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii), little bluestem, and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) [14]. At Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, barnyard grass occurs in a variety of forest cover types as an understory species. Species associated with barnyard grass not previously mentioned include white ash (Fraxinus americana), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), shagbark hickory (C. ovata), black walnut (Juglans nigra), eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sassafrass (Sassafrass albidum), and red pine (Pinus resinosa) [85].


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Barnyard grass is readily grazed by livestock in Arizona and West Virginia, and can be cultivated for hay [27,67]. Seeds of barnyard grass are eaten by songbirds, waterfowl, and greater prairie chickens [6,9,59,63,75]. Barnyard grass is an important source of food and cover for waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley [47]. In the playa lakes of Texas and New Mexico, meadows dominated by barnyard grass are important habitat for waterfowl and pheasant [4]. PALATABILITY : Barnyard grass produces fair pasture when grazed during early growth stages but becomes harsh and unpalatable at maturity [68]. It is palatable to sheep in Minnesota [40]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Barnyard grass has fair to poor forage value for livestock [68]. In Minnesota, toxic levels of nitrate have been reported in barnyard grass [40]. Nutritional values of sun-cured barnyard grass in the milk stage are as follows [87]: _________________________________________United States Dry matter % 84.2 100.0 Ash % 7.7 9.1 Crude fiber % 31.0 36.8 Ether extract % 1.8 2.1 N-free extract % 34.0 40.4 Protein (N x 6.25) Sheep dig. coef.* % 57.0 57.0 Cattle dig. prot.* % 5.9 7.0 Goats dig. prot. % 6.2 7.4 Horses dig. prot. % 6.2 7.4 Rabbits dig. prot. % 6.4 7.6 Sheep dig. prot. % 5.6 6.6 Energy Cattle DE* Mcal/kg 1.95 2.31 Sheep DE Mcal/kg 1.98 2.35 Cattle ME* Mcal/kg 1.60 1.90 Sheep ME Mcal/kg 1.62 1.93 _______________________________________________________ *dig. coef.=protein digestible coefficient dig. prot.=digestible protein DE=digestible energy ME=metabolizable energy COVER VALUE : Barnyard grass cover values are as follows [86]: UT WY ND upland game birds poor fair good waterfowl poor fair good small nongame birds fair fair good small mammals fair fair ---- VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Barnyard grass has colonized desert riparian and wetland community sites along the Gila river in Arizona that were supplied by year-round flows of wastewater. If wastewater areas are managed on a permanent year-round basis, habitat rehabilitation and avian colonization may occur [55]. Barnyard grass can be utilized for quick, temporary erosion control on coal mine sites in the eastern United States [75]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Generally, seed yields from barnyard grass stands are reduced in 2 to 3 years because of competition with other weeds [43]. In Missouri, natural seeding of barnyard grass was stimulated by periodic draining and flooding of a wetland site; a July 1 to September 15 drawdown produced an excellent stand of barnyard grass which was utilized by waterfowl [6]. In California, draining barnyard grass fields in the spring and discing them can benefit stands. At the Mendota Waterfowl Management Area, California, this practice has been used to perpetuate stands of barnyard grass for up to 6 years. Barnyard grass may harbor a virus-like disease of cereals [17]. Toxicity tests of effluents in water and sediment were conducted using the two varieties of barnyard grass. Effluents from a sewage treatment plant, tannery, textile mill, pulp and paper mill, and coking plant inhibited germination, chlorophyll synthesis, and growth of barnyard grass [77,78].


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Barnyard grass is an introduced, nonrhizomatous, warm-season annual. Stems may be solitary or in small tufts, erect or reclining at the base, up to 6.6 feet tall (2 m) [16,28,39,52,80]. Leaves are flat, 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) long and 0.2 to 0.6 (5-15 mm) inch wide [18,19,27,46]. The panicle is 2 to 8.4 inches (5-21 cm) long, upright or nodding [19,46,68]. Barnyard grass has a fibrous root system [39,49]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Therophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Barnyard grass reproduces by seed. It is self-pollinating [51] and a prolific seed producer [28,44,68]. A healthy plant can produce from 750,000 to one million seeds [44]. Barnyard grass seed is water dispersed [1]. Seed viability in soil is variable [10,44]. In Stoneville, Mississippi, in 1972, a 50-year study on longevity of buried seed of barnyard grass was initiated. Seed viability was 1 percent after burial for 2.5 years; less than 6 percent of seed survived 6 months or longer [10]. However, according to Dawson [8], barnyard grass seed may be viable in the soil for up to 13 years. In another study by Mitich [44], seed viability of barnyard grass was 100 percent after 6 to 8 years of dry storage in irrigated sandy loam soil, and all seed was nonviable after 15 years. Watanabe [79] found that barnyard grass seed germination rate was 27 percent after burial for 6 months and 3 percent after burial for 6.5 years. Barnyard grass seed germinates over a wide temperature range, 55 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (13-40 deg C), with optimum germination occurring from 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30 deg C) [53,62]. The buoyancy and hence dispersal by water of barnyard grass seeds is probably influenced by their weight. A survey of seed weight [1] demonstrated that seeds of E. crus-galli var. oryzicola were on the average 2 to 3 times heavier than those of E. crus-galli var. crus-galli. The lighter seeds of E. crus-galli var. crus-galli exhibited greater buoyancy, with approximately 50 percent of seeds remaining afloat after 4 to 5 days in water. In contrast, 95 percent of E. crus-galli var. oryzicola seeds had sunk after 5 days. Decay of dormancy in E. crus-galli var. oryzicola is more rapid than in E. crus-galli var. crus-galli following dry storage and burial in soil. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Barnyard grass is widespread in fields, waste places, ditches, marshes, wet meadows, floodplains and along lakeshores and streambanks [18,20,33,38,39]. It is locally common in floodplains, riverbottoms, and seasonally wet habitats [1,63,80], but also occurs in drier habitats [24]. Barnyard grass is most often found on disturbed, generally nonsaline soils [25,53,63], but grows on a variety of soil types [38,53]. Echinochloa crus-galli var. crus-galli is generally absent from sites that have greater than 12 inches (30 cm) of standing water for more than 4 weeks at a time [42,63]. It occurs in shallow water or after drawdown [63]. Barnyard grass tolerates poor drainage and flooding, but not severe drought [7,31,44,60]. In California, the two varieties of barnyard grass differ in habitat preference and colonizing ability. Echinochloa crus-galli var. crus-galli is a cosmopolitan weed of wet, disturbed ground and occurs in shallow water around the periphery of rice fields. Echinochloa crus-galli var. oryzicola is a crop mimic that is found primarily in permanently flooded cultivated rice fields [1]. Elevations of barnyard grass are as follows: feet meters Arizona 150-7,000 45-2,100 [27] California <4,950 <1,500 [20] Colorado 4,500-7,500 1,350-2,250 [19] Kansas 3,370-4,675 1,021-1,417 [38] Montana 2,800-3,300 840-1,000 [86] South Dakota 1,940-2,025 587- 614 [71] Texas 7,400 2,320 [21] Utah 2,705-7,045 820-2,135 [80] Wyoming 3,700-5,100 1,110-1,530 [86] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Barnyard grass is a pioneer species that readily invades disturbed sites [63,68]. It is found most often in open, unshaded areas [25,44], and is intolerant of dense shade [44]. Barnyard grass invades South Dakota rangelands and rapidly colonizes overflow and subirrigated range sites that have been denuded or disturbed in Nebraska [37,68]. In Idaho, barnyard grass is an increaser species on periodically flooded sites along streams [58]. At a restoration prairie site in Ohio, barnyard grass established at the edge of an ephemeral pond that is subject to periodic flooding and drying [7]. In an old-field succession deciduous forest in southwestern Ohio, barnyard grass was found growing in a 2-year-old stand, but was not present in stands 10, 50, 90, or 200 years old [56,74]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Barnyard grass flowering dates for several states are as follows: Arizona July-Sept [27] California July-Oct [46] Colorado Aug-Sept [86] Florida all year [84] Illinois Aug-Oct [45] Montana June-Oct [86] Nebraska Aug-Sept [61] North Carolina July-Oct [52] North Dakota July 15 [65] South Carolina July-Oct [52] West Virginia Aug-Oct [67] Wyoming Aug-Oct [86] Great Plains June-Sept [16]


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Barnyard grass may colonize burned areas from soil-stored seed after fire. Fires that thin or remove canopy vegetation produce conditions that may be conducive to colonization by barnyard grass. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Echinochloa crus-galli

References for species: Echinochloa crus

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