R. Mills
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: New Jersey

Sperm Grass

I have this crazy grass (weed) growing all over my lawn and gardens.
It looks just like grass, except:
1) Its not flat like blades of grass but round like those coffee stirrers.
2) It grows amazingly straight up.
3) When I dig it up, the root often goes down 4-5 inches in the ground.
4) At the bottom is a white ball, often looking like sperm (sorry) sometimes its as big as a marble. Below this ball is the root system on the larger ones.
5) I did'nt have any of this in my lawn & gardens a few years ago, now it is lodged everywhere.

What is this crazy grass ? & how is it replicating all over my yard.
Thanks for your help.

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Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

It sounds like the wild garlic and wild onion that grows all over my yard. :lol:

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Posts: 30538
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I agree with Kisal's assessment.

Just like culnary onions and garlic, They grow from those round bulbs from year to year, dividing and making more underground bulbs, and they also flower and make bulbiles atop a straight solid stem -- they look like a prickly ball surrounded by a papery covering. When dry and lightly crushed, the bulbuls separate into 2 dozen or more tiny little seed like objects that will individually sprout. I toss them around the base of fruit and ornamental fruit trees (like cherry, plum, pear, etc.) to deter rodents and borers.

The underground bulbs as well as the green tops emit strong garlicky odor, and in fact can be used for cooking if growing in areas untreated with herbicides or pesticides. Underground bulbs work well in soups/stock and young tender tops can be used like chives. I cut and use the lush darker green tops that are too fibrous as mulch around strawberries and other plants that benefit from the garlicky odor to deter bugs and animals, plus I believe the dark green color indicates a good nutrient source as they break down.

In the back yard, when they are growing well in early spring, I ask DH to mow around them so they can grow and be useful. 8) I've dug out most of the ones in the front yard for cooking with so we hardly have any there, which suits DH very well. :wink:

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Could also describe nut sedge; is there an oniony smell?


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