Echinochloa crus-galli - (L.) Beauv.
Barnyard Grass
Other English Common Names: Large Barnyard Grass
Other Common Names: barnyardgrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. (TSN 502210)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.158283
Element Code: PMPOA2D020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Echinochloa
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Concept Reference
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: Echinochloa crus-galli
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (12Oct2016)

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), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Hawaii (SNA), 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), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (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

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, FLexotic, GA, HIexotic, 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, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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: Medium/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: There are two varieties of Echinochloa crus-galli with the typical variety causing more concern to natural areas than var. oryxicola. However, given its status as a pioneer species, it is unlikely to persist at a site once disturbance ceases. A high proportion of invaded sites are associated with agriculture. A further twist is associated with ongoing evolution in E. crus-galli, a population (outside U.S.) has evolved a mechanism that allows it to survive colder temperatures. This population should be watched for signs of invasion.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 22Apr2004
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eurasian (Esser 1994); Eurasia and Africa (Baldwin et al. 2004)

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999)

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: (Esser 1994).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: A pioneer species (Esser 1994) unlikely to have long-term impacts on system processes.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Annual grass (Maun and Barrett 1986).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Low significance
Comments: Dominant species in some wetlands in ND (Esser 1994).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No hybrids between E.crus-galli and other North American taxa have been documented (Maun and Barrett 1986).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Habitat types invaded include sensitive wetland types (Esser 1994).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Throughout US (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: On AR and KY state lists ( 2003).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Inferred from Kartesz 1999 and TNC 2001; throughout CA (Baldwin et al. 2004).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Fields, waste places, ditches, marshes, wet meadows, floodplains and lakeshores and streambanks (Esser 1994).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: A population of E. crus-galli has evolved a mechanism that allows it to survive colder temperatures (Lee 2002) which could mean expansion of the range northward.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium/Low significance
Comments: A population of E. crus-galli has evolved a mechanism that allows it to survive colder temperatures (Lee 2002) which could mean expansion of the range northward.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Planted for erosion control, range plant and/or ornamental (Kartesz 1999). Cultivated for hay (Esser 1994) and seeds can remain viable following passage through livestock (Maun and Barrett 1986). If the manure is then spread on fields, seeds can germinate (Maun and Barrett 1986). Eaten by songbirds, waterfowl (Esser 1994). Water dispersed (Esser 1994).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Unknown

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Has colonized desert riparian and wetland sites on the Gila River in AZ when the hydroperiod was altered to year-round (Esser 1994).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Present in southern Canadaian prairies, roadsides and cultivated fields (Maun and Barrett 1986; Esser 1994; Kartesz 1999) and Australia (Batianoff and Butler 2002).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Seed yields are reduced by competition from other weeds, but some management techniques can be employed to increase them (Esser 1994). A healthy plant can produce 750000 to 1000000 seeds (Esser 1994). Seed bank viable less than 3 years but can be up to 15 years (Esser 1994). Non-rhizomatous (Esser 1994).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Unknown
Comments: Probably killed by fire, but fire may create open habitat for recolonization from the seed bank (Esser 1994). Susceptible to many herbicides at germination and seedling stages; tolerant at adult life stages (Maun and Barrett 1986).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Seed bank viable less than 3 years but can be up to 15 years (Esser 1994).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown
Comments: Cultivated for hay (Esser 1994).

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).

  • Baldwin, B.G., S. Boyd, B.J. Ertter, D.J. Keil, R.W. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti and D.H. Wilken. 2004.
    Jepson Flora Project, Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. Online. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Batianoff, G.N. and D.W. Butler. 2002. Assessment of invasive naturalised plants in south-east Queensland. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol 17(1).

  • Esser, L.L. 1994. Echinochloa crus-galli. In W.C. Fischer. Compiler. The Fire Effects Information System [Database]. Fire Effects Information System, Missoula, MT: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory. ONLINE. Available: Accessed 2004, February.

  • 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.]

  • 2003. Species Account. ONLINE. Accessed 2004, February.

  • 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.

  • Lee, C.E. 2002. Evolutionar genetics of invasive species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17(8):386-391.

  • Maun, M.A. and Barrett, S.C.H. 1986 The biology of Canadian weeds. 77. Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. Canadian Journal of plant science 66 (3):739-759.

  • Meades, S.J. & Hay, S.G; Brouillet, L. 2000. Annotated Checklist of Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University Botanical Gardens, St John's NF. 237pp.

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

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: (Accessed 2004)

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