Grassy Weed – Smutgrass

(Sporobolus poiretii)

Smutgrass – sometimes referred to as Sporobolus indicus – is a perennial grassy weed. Sporobolus poiretii thrives in open areas, often occurring in turfgrass areas, pastures, and along roadsides. Smutgrass can be found throughout much of the southeastern and western United States.

Identifying Smutgrass -

Smutgrass can be identified as an upright, tough perennial. Its collar is divided into two parts by the mid-vein and its sheath is smooth and round. It also features flat blades that taper to a sharp point.

It can best be identified by its seedhead, which forms a long, narrow, spike-like panicle. The seeds are often black in color due to infection by a smutty fungus (hence the name Smutgrass).

Smutgrass Control -

Trying to control Smutgrass relying exclusively on cultural weed control methods will not adequately control this weed. While cultural control practices (including consistent watering and lawn mowing) can help prevent the spread of Smutgrass in your lawn or landscaping, this weed can be rather difficult to eradicate.


Scotts LawnService recommends cultural weed control practices to reduce Smutgrass in your lawn and landscaping. This is due to the limited number of selective weed control products options to kill this weed. However, this weed can be controlled with non-selective weed controls such as RoundUp®, which will kill this weed and surrounding turfgrass. Re-seeding may be necessary to repair treated areas where RoundUp® is used.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Smutgrass control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.