Australian weed identification of Crowsfoot weed with its distinctive seedhead
How to remove crowsfoot grass from your lawn (Eleusine indica) or goosegrass.

Crowsfoot Grass (Eleusine indica)


Crowsfoot Grass is also known as Eleusine indica and Goosegrass, due to the close likeness of the plant to the feet of geese. We discuss How to remove Crowsfoot from your lawn.

After you read this, you will be able to:

  • Know what Crowsfoot or Goosegrass looks like.
  • Be aware what conditions favour Crowsfoot grass.
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to control Crowsfoot.

Crowsfoot is a good indicator weed of compact soils. We often find Crowsfoot in heavy wear areas, and it does well in poorly drained conditions. More on turf weeds is in our weed ID chart.


How to Identify Crowsfoot Grass.

Crowsfoot Grass is a tufted, dark green summer annual grass with flat stems and shiny strap-like leaves. Its leaf blades are smooth with folded venation and white sheaths that leads to a short jagged, membranous ligule that divides at the centre. It has a prostrate or upright growth and tends to form a low-growing rosette with a white-coloured leaf sheath at the base.

The seed head appears in late spring or early summer and has two to ten spikelets on a long stem. Eleusine indica can set seeds even in closely mown turf. Each plant produces more than 50,000 seeds that are spread by the wind and rain, as well as machinery, animals and humans.


Category: Grass (monocot).
Height: Goosegrass grows up to 60 cm in height.
Leaf Length: The leaves of Eleusine indica are up to 30 cm long.
Leaf Width: Leaf width is 3-8 mm wide.
Spikelets: Goosegrass grows 3-7, 4-7mm long spikes. The seeds attach in a zipper appearance on the spike.

Reproduces: Crowsfoot reproduces by seed, that blow in the wind and stick to mud on machinery.
Comments: There are no hairs on the leaf, but there are hairs at the base of the leaf. Seeds germinate at or near the surface of moist soils with temperatures above 18°C. Goosegrass can germinate in a soil pH range from 5 to pH 10.

Habitat: Crowsfoot Grass thrives in compact soils and heavy wear areas. It is a common weed in poorly drained soil and likes full sun. Crowsfoot is often seen on soils with relatively high P, K, Ca, and Mg.




How to remove Crowsfoot Grass from Your lawn.

You can use both cultural and chemical control to remove Crowsfoot Grass from your lawn and turf.

Cultural control

Physical hand removal is the easy way to control this weed. A thick, healthy turf cover with no bare areas, also inhibits Crowsfoot emergence and seed production. It thrives in compact soil, so carry out mechanical aeration, and reduce traffic to improve turf cover and help grass compete.
Shade substantially reduces growth so a vigorous, dense turf cover helps shade out this weed.

How to remove Crowsfoot from your lawn with Chemicals.

Selective post-emergents are available, but your best option is pre-emergent control. Even with this though, Crowsfoot in couch is more difficult to
control with herbicides than Summer Grass.

When applied alone at normal rates, Oxadiazon controls Crowsfoot more effectively (91%) than pendimethalin (69%), Dimension (69%), and Prodiamine (71%), when applied at normal rates.

Summer Grass control was 80% or higher when 1/2 rates of either Dimension® or Pendimethalin were tank-mixed with MSMA at the label rate. This is a lot higher rate of control with either Dimension® or MSMA applied alone at normal rates.

Pre-emergents such as Onset 10GR, Barricade, Echelon, Echelon Duo, and Battalia will control Crowsfoot grass in warm-season grasses. Use these at the correct rate and time to get good control.

A single application of a granular pre-emergent like Onset 10GR, Echelon or Echelon Duo, several weeks before germination will give season-long control of Crowsfoot grass. If you use other products, you may need to make split applications for season-long control.


Post-emergent Control.

There are a few options to consider but timing is important. ProForce Destro works well, and is in a different chemcial Group from most of the other alternatives. Alternatively Envu Tribute Selective also gives good results. Destro will give better results with the addition of an MSO like ProForce Voltage to overcome the waxy leaf.

You can use Foramsulfuron (Tribute Selective) in couch and zoysia as alternatives to ACCase-inhibitors. Two applications of this herbicide is required for effective post-emergent control of established Crowfoot. Due to potential antagonism, do not apply Tribute with a non-ionic surfactant or crop oil concentrate.