Digitaria sanguinalis - (L.) Scop.
Hairy Crabgrass
Other English Common Names: Large Crabgrass
Other Common Names: hairy crabgrass
Synonym(s): Panicum sanguinale L.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. (TSN 40604)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.150384
Element Code: PMPOA270S0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Digitaria
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Digitaria sanguinalis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar1994
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (11Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GA, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Digitaria sanguinalis is widespread and occurs throughout the contiguous U.S., with the exception of Florida. It is a serious weed of lawns and gardens. In native species habitats, is occurs primarily in waste areas, old fields, borders, and roadsides. Where it occurs in more natural habitats such as prairies and dunes, it seems to be restricted to freshly disturbed areas. It has been found to produce root exudates that inhibit its own seedlings, as well as the seedlings of other early-invading species; it is one of the first species to disappear in old field succession. Digitaria sanguinalis does possess some aggressive reproductive characteristics. A single plant may produce up to 188,000 seeds and stems often root at the lower nodes. However, it appears to have few negative impacts on biodiversity.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant
I-Rank Review Date: 15Jun2006
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Southern and Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Temperate Asia (USDA 2005).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (FNA 2003). The native indicator in Kartesz (1999) is an error (J. Kartesz pers. comm., 2006).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: In Arizona, it occurs along streams, ditch banks, roadsides, and washes (Parker 1972).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of changes in abiotic ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters found in the literature; assumption is that any alterations are not high or moderate.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: Annual grass with culms 20-70 cm, often decumbent (FNA 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: Has a C4 photosynthetic pathway, which makes it tolerant of hot, dry conditions and very competitive during the summer (Danneberger 1993 cited by Kime tal. 2002). Produces root exudates that inhibit its own seedlings as well as the seedlings of other early invading species; Due to this sensitivity, it is one of the first species to dissappear in old field succession (Parenti and Rice 1969). In disturbed Indiana dunes, this species filled in gaps left by removal of other exotic grasses and had a high % cover but was replaced by planted natives within two years (Ghoi and Pavlovic 1998). This species does cause alteration in community composition but since it also inhibits itself, its impacts are interpreted as low since they aren't continuing long-term.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: In Missouri prairie lands, it is an obligate ruderal that is restricted to newly exposed soils or heavily compacted sites such as along roadsides and parking areas (Ladd and Churchwell 1999). In disturbed Indiana dunes, this species filled in gaps left by removal of other exotic grasses but was replaced by planted natives within two years (Ghoi and Pavlovic 1998). In Long Island prairie, it occurs in areas that are disturbed by vehicle traffic and dumping (Stalter and Lamont 1986). In New Jersey, it occurs on the back of coastal dunes (Hough 1983). At least some of these communities are probably of conservation significance but this species seems to be restricted to freshly disturbed areas; assumption is that it is not often or occasionally threatening elements of conservation significance.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Established throughout the contiguous U.S., with the exception of Florida (Kartesz 1999; J. Kartesz, unpublished data).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: In Missouri prairie lands, it is an obligate ruderal that is restricted to newly exposed soils or heavily compacted sites such as along roadsides and parking areas (Ladd and Churchwell 1999). On Indiana dune ridges, it invaded after other exotic grasses were removed but was a poor competitor with planted natives and was replaced by them within two years (Choi and Pavlovic 1998). In Long Island prairie, it occurs in areas that are disturbed by vehicle traffic and dumping (Stalter and Lamont 1986).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Inferred from distribution as currently understood (J. Kartesz, unpublished data; TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in disturbed areas of prairies (Ladd and Churchwell 1999; Stalter and Lamont 1987). Occurs in disturbed areas of sand dunes (Choi and Pavlovic 1998). Occurs along streams, ditch banks, and washes (Parker 1972). Also occurs in waste ground, fields, borders, roadsides, gardens, and lawns (FNA 2003; Baldwin et al. 2006; Weakley 2006; Kartesz 1988; Hitchcock 1951).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Already very widespread throughout the region (Kartesz 1999; J. Kartesz, unpublished data). Potential for further expansion is probably limited by its biology.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Insignificant
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and J. Kartesz, unpublished data.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: May contaminate and be spread via seed crops because it grows alongside agricultural fields (Peters 2005). One of the most significant weeds turfgrass (Kim et al. 2002).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance
Comments: Already quite widespread (J. Kartesz, unpublished data); assumption is that local range expansion and abundance is not moderate or rapid.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: In Missouri prairie lands, it is an obligate ruderal that is restricted to newly exposed soils or heavily compacted sites such as along roadsides and parking areas (Ladd and Churchwell 1999). On Indiana dune ridges, it invaded after other exotic grasses were removed but was a poor competitor with planted natives and was replaced by them within two years (Choi and Pavlovic 1998). In Long Island prairie, it occurs in areas that are disturbed by vehicle traffic and dumping (Stalter and Lamont 1986).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in waste ground of fields gardens, and lawns throughout much of the world (FNA 2003). An introduced invasive in Australia, New Zealand, and Guam (PIER 2005). A dominant invading species on disturbed Korean sand dunes (Kim 2005). An invasive exotic in Lithuania (Gudzinskas 2004). Occurs in Canada (Kartesz 1999). In British Columbia, occurs in mesic to dry lawns, fields, roadsides and waste areas.


16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: A single plant may produce up to 188,000 seeds (Peters and Dunn 1971 cited by Kim et al. 2002). It reproduces by seeds and also by stems spreading at the base and rooting at the lower joints (Parker 1972). It is an annual (FNA 2003).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: Chemical herbicides and/or mowing are used to control this species in the borders of agricultural fields (Peters 2005). Because this species disappears early in old field succession (Parenti and Rice 1969), management may rarely be needed in more natural areas.

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Insignificant
Comments: Produces root exudates that inhibit its own seedlings as well as the seedlings of other early invading species (Parenti and Rice 1969). It is an annual (FNA 2003).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Low significance
Comments: A number of herbicides can control Digitaria sanguinalis but they may impact native herbaceous and woody vegetation (Judge et al. 2005).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: A significant weed of agricultural and horticultual crops, especially turfgrass (Kim et al. 2002). A troublesome weed in lawns and cultivated ground (Hitchcock 1951). Classified as a noxious weed in Nevada and New Hampshire (J. Kartesz, unpublished data). Assumption is accessibility problems are not severe or substantial.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Baldwin, B.G., S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, D.J. Keil, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken. 2006. Jepson Flora Project, Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jepson_flora_project.html (accessed 2006).

  • Choi, Y. D., and N. B. Pavlovic. 1998. Experimental restoration of native vegetation in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Restoration Ecology 6(1): 118-129.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 25. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxv + 781 pp.

  • Gudzinskas, Z. 2004. Invasive terrestrial plants. Lithuanian Invasive Species Database. Klaipeda University, Lithuania. Online. Available: http://www.ku.lt/lisd/species_lists/plants_terrestrial.html (accessed 14 June 2006).

  • Hitchcock, A.S. 1951. Manual of the grasses of the United States. 2nd edition revised by Agnes Chase. [Reprinted, 1971, in 2 vols., by Dover Publications, Incorporated, New York.]

  • Hough, M.Y. 1983. New Jersey wild plants. Harmony Press, Harmony, NJ. 414 pp.

  • Judge, C. A., J. C. Neal, and J. F. Derr. 2005. Response of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) to application timing, rate, and frequency of postemergence herbicides. Weed Technology 19: 912-917.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Ph.D. dissertation. Univ. of Nevada, Reno. 3 volumes. 1729 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Kim, K. D. 2005. Invasive plants on disturbed Korean sand dunes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 62: 353-364.

  • Kim, T., J. C. Neal, J. M. Ditomaso, and F. S. Rossi. 2002. A Survey of Weed Scientists' Perceptions on the Significance of Crabgrasses (Digitaria spp.) in the United States. Weed Technology 16: 239-242.

  • Klinkenberg, B. 2004. E-Flora BC: Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Online. Available: www.eflora.bc.ca (accessed 2006).

  • Ladd, D. and B. Churchwell. 1999. Ecological and floristic assessment of Missouri Prairie Foundation lands. The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Field Office, St. Louis. [http://www.moprairie.org/floristic/index.html]

  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). 2005. August 10 last update. Digitaria sanguinalis. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Institute of Pacific Island Forestry. Online. Available: http://www.hear.org/Pier/species/digitaria_sanguinalis.htm (accessed 2006).

  • Parenti, R. L., and E. L. Rice. 1969. Inhibitional effects of Digitaria sanguinalis and possible role in old-field succession. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 96(1): 70-78.

  • Parker, K. F. 1972. An illustrated guide to Arizona weeds. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ. [http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/weeds/titlweed.htm]

  • Peters, S. 2005. Weed seeds: Are they a problem? Seeds of Change eNewsletter: 49. Online. Avaible: http://www.seedsofchange.com/enewsletter/issue_49/weed_seed.asp (accessed 2006).

  • Stalter, R., and E. E. Lamont. 1987. Vegetation of Hempstead Plains, Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 114: 330-335.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2005, 13 October last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) Online Database. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov2/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2006).

  • Weakley, A. S. 2006. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 17 January 2006. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2006).

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