Broomsedge is a perennial grassy weed that is also known as Broomgrass, Sagegrass, Broomstraw or by its scientific name, Andropogon virginicus. When fully mature, this lawn weed sometimes must be burned out.
Broomsedge can be identified as a clump-forming perennial grassy weed with several tall stems sprouting from a basal crown. Its ligule is membranous and fringed with hairs, and the sheaths are strongly compressed and flattened. Broomsedge lawn weeds also feature a narrow collar, divided by the mid-vein and hairy at the edge. Its blades are compressed near the base and hairy along the edges and near the ligule. This lawn weed's leaves turn into unsightly brown tufts during winter, resembling broom bristles. In fact, household brooms were once made from these tufts, hence the common names Broomgrass and Broomstraw.
This grassy weed is primarily found growing on the edges of forests and wooded areas, but has been known to plague residential lawns as well. Broomsedge can be found throughout much of the eastern United States. These perennial grassy weeds can germinate and spread from seeds, but they also produce a root structure (tubers, bulbs or corms) that can birth new weeds from your lawn’s surface (using stolons) or from underground (using rhizomes). Perennial grassy weeds live two or more years and have a deeper root structure that can give rise to new weeds—even if you no longer see the weeds in your lawn.
Mature Broomsedge can grow quite tall and must be plowed, mowed or even burned for removal. However, as a younger grassy weed, Broomsedge can be very hard to distinguish from desirable turf grass—especially if it has already invaded your lawn or landscaping. Cultural weed control practices, such as proper mowing and watering techniques, are recommended to reduce Broomsedge in your lawn and landscaping. This is due to the limited number of options to kill this lawn weed. For tougher weed removal, it's advisable to call a TruGreen® expert for professional help.