Tufted plant - stems slanting

Sprawling annual grass

3 spikes, flowers in 2 rows on 1 side of each

Ligule and sheath

Stem with node (knee like bend)

4 spikes

Close up of flowers

Scientific Name

Eleusine tristachya

Common Names

goosegrass, crowsfoot grass


South America



Distinguishing Characteristics

A coarse annual tufted grass with stems slanting not usually erect.

Leaves are smooth, hairless, flattened (sometimes folded) and striped with parallel longitudinal ridges or lines. They may be rough around the margins. Stems are smooth and hairless.

The ligule has the margin which is minutely fringed.

The flowers are sessile (without a stalk) and are found along 2-4 spikes per inflorescence (flower head). The seed is rigid, narrow pear-shaped. The flowers, and subsequently the seeds, are crowded into 2 rows along 1 side of each spike.

This grass is easily removed by gathering all of the stems together and removing the tufted roots from the ground with a knife or trowel.


Other plants easily confused with this plant

This plant species is similar to E. indica.

E. tristachya is smaller, has fewer (2-4) and smaller (1-3cm) spikes per inflorescence (flowerhead).

E.indica generally has 5-8 spikes which are 4-15cm long.

Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd

"Flora of New South Wales" editor Gwen J. Harden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by IEWF, June 2006