Weed Identification

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Guineagrass, Panicum maximum

Annual or perennial with densely bunched, stiff, erect stems, 2 to 10 feet tall.  Stems are extremely variable, sometimes bending and rooting at the nodes, smooth to extremely hairy, branched or unbranched.  Leaf blades are flat, usually smooth, but occasionally hairy, ½ to 1 ½ inches wide, and 15 to 30 inches long.  Leaf sheaths are usually densely hairy.  Seedheads are 6 to 24 inches long with widely spreading branches.  The flowers are somewhat blunt at the tip, and the seeds are minutely wrinkled.  Propagation is usually by seed, but occasionally by above ground runners.  Guineagrass is commonly used as forage in warm temperate and tropical areas.  As a weed, it can be found in agricultural fields and other disturbed areas unless they are continually wet or very dry.  Seedlings are often found in extremely dense stands in problem fields.