Barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis)

Barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis)
Images courtesy Ken French
Barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis)
EDRR Species?: 
Yes

Description
Annual, grows 8 to 16 inches tall with few to many culms. Leaf sheaths contain white hairs when young, becoming more or less smooth once mature. The blades are rigid, sharp, pointed and spreading. Grain 1/4 inch long, resembling a wheat kernel.

Impacts
Barbed goatgrass is a rangeland and dryland crop invader. This species, aside from dominating dryland pastures in California, readily crosses with wheat, producing sterile seeds and unmarketable wheat. Aegilops species are closely related to wheat, making selective control of goatgrass difficult in cereal crop production. When mature, it is unpalatable for livestock. In grasslands, it reduces the abundance of native perennial grasses and competes with desirable plants and native forbs. Research refers to this plant being used in wheat breeding programs worldwide for specific characteristics. It is highly invasive in the sheep grazing area of northern California.