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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

German velvetgrass  (Holcus mollis)

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Life stages of German velvetgrass hairs on leaf and leaf sheath infesting turf florets and spikelets

German velvetgrass, also called Yorkshire fog, is a perennial grass. In California it inhabits ditches, turf, and other moist areas along the North Coast to an elevation of 400 feet (120 m).

Mature plant

German velvetgrass is distinguished by having a solitary stem or groups of a few stems, which are mostly smooth, but may have hairs on the joints, as well as having vigorous, slender, underground, horizontal creeping stems (rhizomes). Leaves are velvety and somewhat grayish. Purplish lines at the base of stems are common. The upper flowers have a sharply bent or straight bristle. German velvetgrass is visible as light-colored, velvety patches in turf, and is very apparent when dew is on the grass.

Collar region

A short, membranous ligule is present. There are no auricles.

Related or similar plants

  • Common velvetgrass, Holcus lanatus

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