Yellow Nutsedge
Purple Nutsedge

Type of Weed: Sedge, Grassy Weed

Cyperus esculentus and cyperus rotundus


Nutsedge (or nut grass) is a perennial grass-like weed with two main varieties known as purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge. This hardy, fast spreading plant is known to grow across most of the United States and thrives in wet conditions.

These weeds arise from underground tubers each of which is capable of producing hundreds of new plants and tubers making it very difficult to control.

How to Identify

Nutsedge emerges in late spring, continues to grow in the warmer/wetter months, then disappears with the first frost. This weed has long green triangular stems topped with clusters of seed spikes. As seen in Fig. 1, yellow nutsedge displays yellow spikes and Fig. 2 shows the deep red/purple spikes of purple nutsedge.

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Difficult

For control efforts to be effective, the underground tuber must be destroyed. Therefore, mechanical efforts and herbicides need to be targeted at killing all active and dormant tubers. It can be difficult for an amateur to properly time treatments and destroy all tubers. Utilizing the expertise of a professional lawn care company is the best chance of stopping nutsedge. This weed thrives in moist conditions, so eliminating excess moisture and improving soil drainage should also be part of your control plan.

Prevention Tips

Prevent nutsedge by avoiding over watering your lawn and improving soil drainage. Have your lawn aerated twice annually to improve drainage and stop excess moisture build up.
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