WSU Extension


Weeds : Velvetgrass (Common velvetgrass) : Holcus lanatus
(revision date: 10/14/2016)

Family: Poaceae (Graminae)
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Grass

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Velvetgrass is a perennial reaching one to three feet high (if unmowed). Typically growing in small, dense clumps, velvetgrass may also spread to form large clumps, especially in lawns. Leaf blades are pointed at the tip and range from 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide. The entire plant, including leaf blades, sheaths, and stems, is hairy and soft to the touch. Plants have a grayish, velvety appearance. Pale grayish-green to purplish seed heads are branched and plumelike. SPECIAL INFORMATION: The grayish coloration of velvetgrass causes it to appear as an obvious weed in lawns.
Velvetgrass is a weed of lawns and pastures. In the Pacific Northwest, it is normally found west of the Cascades.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Maintaining a healthy planting or turf area to provide competition will prevent weed establishment.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label instructions. Spray in spring when flowers first appear. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • sethoxydim
Turf areas
    Bare ground areas
    • glyphosate
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    Caption: Velvetgrass
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Velvetgrass seedhead
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Common velvetgrass ligule
    Photo by: B.M. Johnson
    Caption: Common velvetgrass
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Common velvetgrass
    Photo by: T.W. Miller