Digitaria sanguinalis

Hairy crabgrass

Botanical description: Digitaria sanguinalis is a common urban plant, often seen growing in sidewalk cracks, along compacted paths, in vacant lots and fields. Also known as hairy crabgrass, the plant has extreme drought tolerance, growing where other plants would be challenged. The stem has a distinctive angular character, bending at nodesalong the stem, which can set roots if in contact with the soil. Spiky, finger-like flower heads develop atop slender stalks late in the season. Stalks change in color, from green to purple to tan as seeds mature. Each plant can hold more than 150,000 seeds and has the ability to colonize quickly. The species attracts a host of different insects, birds and mammals. Various beetles, flies and moths feed on the foliage, seeds, root crown and other parts of the plant. The seeds are also popular with birds and rodents, such as mice and rabbits.