18 Weeds that Look Like Wheat

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We'll help you recognize weeds that look like wheat. Some, like Wild Oats and Cheatgrass, seem similar but differ in seed heads. Others, like Jointed Goatgrass and Volunteer Barley, share features but have distinct characteristics. Learning to spot these differences can help you easily identify weeds that might be mistaken for wheat in your garden.

If you’re unsure about Weeds that Look Like Wheat, this article can help you figure them out easily!

Some Weeds Look Like Wheat so much that they can be quite confusing to identify. In this informative article, we’ve discussed these wheat-look-alikes and how to spot them easily!

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Weeds that Look Like Wheat

1. Wild Oats

Wild Oats Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Avena fatua

Wild Oats and wheat might seem similar with their slim stems and droopy oat-like seeds. To differentiate, focus on the droop of the seed heads – a characteristic not found in wheat varieties.

2. Cheatgrass

Cheatgrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Bromus tectorum

Cheatgrass’s hair-like leaves and nodding seed heads make it similar to wheat. However, you can differentiate it by looking for awns not present in wheat.

3. Italian Ryegrass

Italian Ryegrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Lolium multiflorum

The Italian Ryegrass and wheat share a similar visual appearance, but the former is distinguished by its unique spike structure.

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4. Jointed Goatgrass

Jointed Goatgrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Aegilops cylindrica

Recognized by its erect stems and rolled leaf blades, Jointed Goatgrass often resembles wheat. The key lies in the seed heads, which have distinct joints absent in wheat varieties.

5. Volunteer Barley

Volunteer Barley Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Hordeum vulgare

Volunteer Barley, akin to cultivated barley, can be misleading. Look for long awns on its seed heads to distinguish it from true wheat varieties.

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6. Canarygrass

Canarygrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Phalaris canariensis

Canarygrass, with its similarity to wheat in overall structure, demands attention. Focus on the seed heads, which lack the compactness found in wheat, aiding in differentiation.

7. Volunteer Rye

Volunteer Rye Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Secale cereale

Volunteer Rye resembles wheat but can be distinguished by longer awns on seed heads and a slightly more erect growth habit.

8. Quackgrass

Quackgrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Elymus repens

Often mistaken for young wheat, Quackgrass is recognized by its long, flat, clasping auricles and persistent growth, posing challenges to crop yields.

9. Rescue Grass

Rescuegrass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Bromus catharticus

Like wheat, Rescuegrass stands out with its unique seed head featuring multiple branches and awns, providing a clear identifier for differentiation.

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10. Foxtail Barley

Foxtail Barley Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Hordeum jubatum

Foxtail Barley shares visual traits with wheat, but its seed heads, resembling a fox’s tail, provide a clear distinguishing factor.

11. Hairy Brome Grass

Hairy Brome Grass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Bromus commutatus

Resembling wheat, Hairy Brome Grass stands out with hairy ligules and distinct seed heads, demanding attention for effective crop management.

12. Japanese Brome

Japanese Brome Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Bromus japonicus

Often confused with wheat, Japanese Brome can be distinguished by its unique nodding seed heads and the absence of auricles, providing key features for accurate identification in the field.

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13. Barnyard Grass

Barnyard Grass Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Echinochloa crus-galli

Barnyard Grass, resembling wheat in growth habit, can be differentiated by its open panicles and distinctive spikelets.

14. Volunteer Triticale

Volunteer Triticale Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: X. Triticosecale Wittmack

Volunteer Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye, may share characteristics with both. Focus on seed head features to distinguish it from true wheat varieties accurately.

15. Bristly Foxtail

Bristly Foxtail Weeds that Look Like Wheat

Botanical Name: Setaria verticillata

Resembling wheat, Bristly Foxtail is differentiated by its bristly seed heads and distinctive bristles, serving as key characteristics for accurate identification.

16. Meadow BromeBromus biebersteinii looks like wheat

Botanical Name: Bromus biebersteinii

Meadow brome is a tall grass with soft, hairless leaves like wheat. Focus on its leaves – they’re broader and have denser spikelets of 5-9 florets (wheat has 3-5.)

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17. Wirestem Muhly

Muhlenbergia frondosa looks like wheat

Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia frondosa

This one’s a warm-season grass with wiry blue-green leaves. You might mistake them for a younger wheat plant, which only grows 3 feet tall. Also, wheat has hairy leaves, but this one’s hairless.

18. Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium looks like wheat

Botanical Name: Schizachyrium scoparium

The leaves of Little Bluestem are rough to the touch and turn red in fall, unlike wheat. They are also narrower than wheat leaves, and their spikelets only have one floret.

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