Fact Sheets


Bothriochloa laguroides (DC.) Herter

Family :

Famille :


Synonym(s) :

Synonyme(s) :

Bothriochloa saccharoides var. laguroides (DC.) Beetle (ITIS 2021)

Andropogon laguroides  DC. (ITIS 2021)

Common Name(s) :

Nom(s) commun(s) :

Silver beardgrass
(English) (GC 2016)
Barbon faux-saccharumis (French) (GC 2016)
Silver bluestem (English) (FNA 1993+)

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelets

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelet, inner side

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelet, outer side

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelets

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelet

  • Silver beardgrass (Bothriochloa laguroides) spikelet outer bract showing short teeth along edge

Explore More :

Explore plus :



Regulation :

Remarques Réglementation:

  • CFIA Weed Seeds Order - Class 1: Prohibited Noxious Weed Seeds

Regulation Notes:

Prohibited Noxious, Class 1 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order (2016) under the Seeds Act. All imported and domestic seed must be free of Prohibited Noxious weed seeds.

Distribution :

Répartition :

Native to North and South America, from the central United States to Argentina and Chile (USDA-ARS 2021). Absent from Canada (Brouillet et al. 2010+).

Habitat and Crop Association :

Habitat et Cultures Associées :

Field edges, pastures, grasslands, woodlands, river bottoms, and roadsides, on well-drained soils and often on limestone soils (Barkworth et al. 2003). Reported as a weed in the fields of Medicago sativa (alfalfa)Phaseolus vulgaris (beans) and Zea mays subsp. mays (corn) in Mexico (Hanan Alipi and Mondragón Pichardo 2009). 

Economic Use, cultivation area, and Weed Association :

Utilisation économique, zone de culture et association de mauvaises herbes :

Duration of Life Cycle :

Durée du cycle vital:


Dispersal Unit Type :

Type d’unité de dispersion :


General Information


Bothriochloa laguroides has been used in landscaping in the United States (Barkworth et al. 2003). Plants have been found growing in South Dakota in 2000, believed to be a northern range extension for the species (Purintun and Gabel 2018). 


Bothriochloa laguroides (John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org)



  • Spikelet


    • Spikelet length* : 2.9 – 4.4 mm; width: 0.8 – 1.2 mm
    *Note: minimum and maximum of 10 spikelets in a normal range of this species using image measurement (ISMA 2020)


    • Spikelet is long oval shaped, compressed in edge view

    Surface Texture

    • Spikelet surface is smooth with short white hairs


    • Spikelet is shiny light yellow coloured

    Other Features

    • A pair of stalks (pedicel + rachis segment) edged with long white hairs (length: 3.0 – 9.0 mm; Barkworth et al. 2003) extend 3/4 up one side of the spikelet, each with a central groove wider than the edges
    • A sterile spikelet may be attached to one of the stalks that is a similar size and shape to the fertile spikelet but without stalks, longitudinally ridged and flattened in edge view
    • Short teeth along the edges of the glumes
    • The upper, or second glume is keeled with a central ridge with the stalks arranged on either side
  • Floret 


    • Floret same size as the spikelet 


    • Floret is long oval shaped 

    Surface Texture

    • Floret surface is smooth


    • Floret is colourless and transparent 

    Other Features

    Lemma awns

    • A long awn (length: 8.0 – 16.0 mm (Barkworth et al. 2003) is attached to the lemma, extends beyond the glumes of the spikelet

    Other features

    • The lemma of the floret is rudimentary, and surrounds the awn
    • The palea is as long as the spikelet with hairs along the edges
  • Caryopsis


    • Caryopsis length*: 2.0 – 2.2 mm; width: 0.7 – 0.9 mm
    *Note: minimum and maximum of 5 caryopses in a normal range of this species using specimen measurement (ISMA 2020)


    • Caryopsis is narrow oval shaped, compressed

    Surface Texture

    • Caryopsis has a wrinkled surface, with grooved grid reticulation visible under high magnification


    • Caryopsis is dull translucent brown coloured

    Other Features

    • Hilum is a brown spot at the embryo end on the opposite side of the caryopsis
  • Embryo


    • Embryo is a rudimentary size compared to the caryopsis


    • Embryo is oval shaped, lateral position


    • Endosperm is hard and translucent

Identification Tips


Many species in the Bothriochloa genus have a similar size, shape and colour. B. laguroides can be distinguished by a smooth, shiny or waxy glume surface opposite the stalks. The stalks have long hairs, generally 3.0 – 9.0 mm long, and a wide central groove compared to similar species (Barkworth et al. 2003).

Additional Botany Information


Similar Species


Similar species are based on a study of seed morphology of various species, and those with similar dispersal units are identified. The study is limited by physical specimen and literature availability at the time of examination, and possibly impacted by the subjectivity of the authors based on their knowledge and experience. Providing similar species information for seed identification is to make users aware of similarities that could possibly result in misidentification.

Bothriochloa ischaemum (L.) Keng (yellow bluestem)

B. ischaemum spikelets are generally longer and more narrow (length*: 4.0- 5.2 mm; width: 0.8 – 1.0 mm) than B. laguroides spikelets. The glume opposite the stalks is ridged, has purple tips, and the teeth appear longer. The hairs on the stalks are shorter (length: 1.0 – 3.0 mm long; Barkworth et al. 2003) and the central groove is more narrow compared to B. laguroides.

Bothriochloa barbinodis (Lag.) Herter

Note*: minimum and maximum of 10 spikelets in a normal range of this species using image measurement (ISMA 2020)

Click to select species

Cliquez pour sélectionner les espèces

Comparison Window

Fenêtre de comparaison

Need ID Help?

Besoin d’aide pour l’identification?



Barkworth, M. E., Capels, K. M., Long, S. and Piep, M. B., (eds.) 2003. Volume 25. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, Part 2. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

Brouillet, L., Coursol, F., Meades, S.J., Favreau, M., Anions, M., Bélisle, P. and Desmet, P. 2010+. VASCAN, the database of vascular plants of Canada. http://data.canadensys.net/vascan/ Accessed September 22, 2022.

Flora of North America (FNA) Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico [Online]. 22+ vols. New York and Oxford.  http://beta.floranorthamerica.org. Accessed December 29, 2022.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat. 2022. https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei Accessed via https://www.gbif.org/species/2704111 Accessed December 29, 2022

Government of Canada (GC). 2016. Canadian Weed Seeds Order. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2016-93/page-2.html (English) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/fra/reglements/DORS-2016-93/page-2.html (French)

Hanan Alipi, A. M. and Mondragón Pichardo, J. 2009. Malezas de México. Bothriochloa laguoides (DC.) Herter. Cola de zorra, http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/poaceae/bothriochloa-laguroides/fichas/pagina1.htm Accessed May 30, 2016.

International Seed Morphology Association (ISMA). 2020. Method for Seed Size Measurement. Version 1.0. ISMA Publication Guide.  https://www.idseed.org/authors/details/method_for_seed_size_measurement.html)

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). 2021. https://www.itis.gov/ Accessed March 4, 2021.

Purtinun, J. and Gabel, M. 2018. A report of two species of Bothriochloa (Poaceae) new to South Dakota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 97:77-81.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). 2021. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx Accessed March 4, 2021.



Jennifer Neudorf, Angela Salzl, Ruojing Wang, Karen Castro, Katrina Entwistle 

Canadian Food Inspection Agency