Common Cockspur-grass Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass Common Cockspur-grass Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass

What are they?

Rather tall, coarse grasses with broad leaf blades and usually long awns on the flowers.

Where are they found?

Found in a variety of habitats with some species being saltmarsh specialists and others being weeds of cultivation.


Generally quite distinctive grasses with relatively broad leaves and flower heads consisting of a number of stout side arms. Florets usually with awns which are often quite long and bristly. For species recognition, see the individual species comments.

Common Cockspur-grass      Echinochloa crusgalli

(Barnyardgrass) An annual, stout grass of all kinds of disturbed and waste ground. Often germinates from spilt bird seed in back yards. Flowers July to October. A stout grass with rather tough, bristly flower heads. Leaves have pale stripe along mid-vein.
Common Cockspur-grass Common Cockspur-grass Common Cockspur-grass Common Cockspur-grass
Flower spike
Flower close-up
Leaf blade
Leaf ligule

Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass      Echinochloa walteri

(Coast Cockspur-grass) A common species of brackish water areas and the back edges of saltmarsh. Flowers August to September. A showy species, often found along the edge of reebeds, where its rust-tinged flower spikes put on an attractive show.
Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass Saltmarsh Cockspur-grass
Flower spike
Flower close-up
Flower close-up