Yellow Nutsedge

Thumbnail

Scientific name: Cyperus esculentus
Common names: Nutgrass, 
Often confused with: Crabgrass

What is Yellow Nutsedge?

Yellow Nutsedge is a perennial weed of turfgrass.  Although it strongly resembles grass, it is actually a sedge that thrives in wet, fertile soils.  In spite of aggressive treatment to minimize its occurrence, Yellow Nutsedge is commonly introduced into lawns when sod is installed; the reproductive structures of the weed, called tubers, can remain dormant in the soil for a decade awaiting the opportunity to sprout.

How to Identify Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge is easily identified in lawns as a pale yellow, grass-like plant that grows far faster than the turfgrasses that surround it, causing an objectionable non-uniform appearance.

How to Control Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge is controlled with specialty weed control products.  The leaves of Yellow Nutsedge grow in an erect manner and have a thick, waxy cuticle that makes penetration by the herbicide very difficult.  Even under ideal conditions, it takes multiple treatments of many seasons to achieve complete control.

Interesting Facts about Yellow Nutsedge

Frustrated homeowners will occasionally resort to manually pulling all of the Yellow Nutsedge plants from their lawn.  This is completely counterproductive – each Yellow Nutsedge plant has attached to its roots structures called tubers.  When the individual Nutsedge plant is broken off, it is a signal for all of the tubers to sprout, causing there to be many more Nutsedge plants than there were before.