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Ventenata (2A)

(Ventenata dubia)


(2A, common in isolated areas of Montana) 

(Ventenata dubia)

Quick ID

  • Open, airy, pyramid-shaped panicle with flower and seed-bearing stems coming off of the main stem at almost 90 degree angles
  • Dark red or black nodes, evident at all stages of growth
  • Long, membranous ligule with tattered tip
  • Bent and twisted awns
ventenata location map

Map Courtesy of Montana Natural Heritage Program, Ventenata – Low Suitability: 19% of Montana, Moderate: 7%, Optimal: 2%. Larger image.

ventenata plants in field
Ventenata dubia Plant

Video Information

Dr. Jane Mangold Identifying Invasive grasses provided through Montana State University

Identifying Ventenata in early summer video provided by Dr. Jane Mangold at Montana State University

Weed Images

Ventenata plant
Ventenata flower
Ventenata Stem
Ventenata Invading - Photo by John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy,

Weed Specifications

Weed Info
Type Information
Toxicity Non-toxic, but not palatable to livestock and wildlife, decreases forage value and yield and crop quality
Best Management Practices

Herbicide treatments can be effective, but are expensive and require precise applications; maintain healthy stands of perennial grasses, early detection and rapid response; prevent seed spread by washing equipment, not moving infested hay, using trusted seed sources, etc. 

*See additional documents below
Habitat Range, pastures, roadsides, agricultural fields
Root Shallow and fibrous and is pulled out of the ground easily
Leaves Narrow and folded lengthwise
Lifespan Winter annual, matures later than cheatgrass, and is yellowish tan in color when mature
Similar Looking Plants Often grows alongside cheatgrass and Japanese brome, and can easily be mistaken for them when viewed from a distance, but from far away ventenata has a shiny and almost soft, fuzzy appearance, and does not turn reddish purple at maturity like cheatgrass does; can also be confused with some native grasses, such as annual hairgrass (Deschampsia danthonioides)
Important Information Typically 6-18 inches tall; thin, wiry stems, hence another one of its common names, wiregrass; creates conditions conducive to erosion and may increase wildfire frequency and intensity

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