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Stinkgrass (Eragrostis cilianensis)

Crop Impacts: Soybeans, corn, turf and pastures

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About Stinkgrass:

Stinkgrass is a warm annual weed that was introduced to North America from Eurasia. It is also very commonly known as Lovegrass, and if eaten in large qualities, Lovegrass or Stinkgrass, can be quite fatal for horses.

Family: Grass Family (Gramineae)

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Stinkgrass Scouting and Prevention:

Stinkgrass has long, tufted stems that are about 4 to 20 inches long, and typically lay on the ground rooting from the nodes. The leaves are flat, hairless, 3 to 10mm wide, with their leaf sheaths split and margins overlapping. The inflorescence flowers are a dark gray green to brownish colour, which are either open and spreading, or dense and compact. Stinkgrass has small, egg-shaped seeds that are yellow to reddish-orange in colour sitting at the top of the plant. Fresh Stinkgrass has an odour that is unpleasant for many, and typically flowers from August to September.

Common locations

  • - Agronomic crops
  • - Vegetable crops
  • - Gardens
  • - Turf
  • - Irrigated pastures


Prevention of Stinkgrass is less expensive and less time-consuming than trying to control it. Make sure when you are seeding a new area you are doing so with certified weed-free seeds. For your lawns, create a dense lawn filled with desirable species, adequate fertilizing, regular mowing and proper irrigation. If there is an infested area on your property, be sure to drive around, instead of through it. Make sure to give all equipment that has been in infested fields a good clean, to make sure no seeds are transferred. There are a few pre-emergent controls that can be used on Stinkgrass depending on the crop fields they are infesting. All the pre-emergent herbicides listed below provide 80% or more control of Stinkgrass. For corn field control, herbicides with the active ingredients pendimethaline, dimethanamin or s-metolachlor/benoxacor works great. For control in soybean fields, herbicides with the active ingredients dimethanamin, metribuzin or imazethapyr provide acceptable prevention for Stinkgrass.

Stinkgrass Control:

Cultural Control

Stinkgrass will die after the first autumn frost hits, giving desirable grass a chance to fill in the blank spaces. The good thing about Stinkgrass is that it can be easily removed by hand, cultivation or hoeing. It is best to have these removal tactics done before Stinkgrass has time to flower.

Chemical Control

There are a few non-selective herbicides that can be used on Stinkgrass, glufosinate (Finale) or glyphosate (round-up) are good post-emergent control applications on turf areas. The downside about using these two herbicides is that they will kill all green plants they come in contact with, and should not be applied in areas with desirable turf. There are a few post-emergent controls that can be used on Stinkgrass depending on the crop fields they are infesting. For post-emergent herbicide control over Stinkgrass is best applied when the plant has about 2 to 6 leaves on it. All the post-emergent herbicides listed below provide 80% or more control of Stinkgrass. For control in corn fields, herbicides with active ingredients nicosulfuron/rimsulfuron or just nicosulfuron work adequately. Finally, for good post-emergent control in soybeans, apply herbicides with active ingredients of quizalofop-p-ethyl, fluazifop-p-butyl or fenoxaprop-p-ethyl.

Latin / Alternative Stinkgrass names:

  • - Eragrostis cilianensis (All.) E. Mosher
  • - Lovegrass
  • - Strong-scented Lovegrass
  • - Candy-grass
  • - Stinking love grass

Additional Stinkgrass Resources