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July 3, 2012

Windmill grass (Choris verticillata)   has been moving into Iowa in the last few years.  This summer I am seeing more of it than ever.  This is a spreading, warm-season weed with a light green color.  It gets its name from its distinctive seedhead that looks like a windmill.  The seedhead will detach from the plant when the seed is mature and it will roll like a tumbleweed and spread its seed to other turf areas.  It is also known as tumble windmill grass in some regions.

Roundup will kill it non-selectively, but it is a great seed producer and it will come back.  The new herbicide Tenacity (mesotrione) is labeled for it.  I have not tried this yet myself, but I hear that it works well if you are persistent.  If anyone has experience with this, let me know.

I took the pictures below this morning near Nevada, Iowa.  This is typical of where it occurs.  I generally see it along curb sides and in compacted area, although it can show up in more open turf areas.