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Latin Name: Elymus repens syn. Elytrigia repens, Agropyrum repens, Triticum repens.
Plant Family: Poaceae
Other Names: Twitch-grass, Cutch, Devil’s Grass, Scotch Quelch, Quick-grass, Quackgrass, Scutch Grass, Dog-grass, Witches Grass & Witchgrass.
Description: This slim leaved perennial is the bane of most gardeners’ lives; it has creeping rhizomes which enable it to grow rapidly wherever it lands and once established is very hard to erradicate. It is a native of Europe and found also in America, northern Asia and AustraliaI. It has flat, rough leaves, the flowering stems grow to 40–150 cm in height; the leaves are long and thin and reach 15–40 cm in length. The flower spike grows between 10–30 cm high.
Brief History: Dioscorides prescribed the rhizome in 1 A.D. for sufferers of kidney stones, so this plant has been used by man for centuries, when cats and dogs are ill they too seek out this root. In areas of medieval Europe where resin based incenses were hard to come by, couchgrass roots were ground up and burned instead. Its name quackgrass came about when it was discovered that if a blade was held between the hands and blown on it would make a ‘quacking’ noise like a duck.
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