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Couch grass (Elytrigia repens)

   Couch grass (Elytrigia repens), fam. Poaceae.
   A nasty weed, able to displace all the plants around and to form pure thickets, owing to underground spreading rhizomes. It is recognized by spikes, where the grains looking left and right are alternating. It easily bears heat and drought. To eradicate couch grass within a piece of land, it is often needed to dig over the soil and to remove all the tiniest pieces of its white acuminate rootlets, each of them is capable to bring the problem back in a few months if left unnoticed. The rhizomes can even pierce old plywoods 2-3 cm thick or the whole potato tubers. In Kyiv, however, couch grass is not very widespread and aggressive.
   On the other hand, the endurance and productivity of couch grass make it a valuable fodder plant, even the sole one in many arid territories. Even dogs and cats often eat its young greens in spring.
   The infusions and decoctions of couch grass roots help in treatment of gastritis, enteritis, bladder or gall stones removing, have expectorant, wound-healing properties, enhance metabolism. The fresh and young rhizomes are sometimes added to soups, salads and other dishes.

Couch grass (Elytrigia repens) Couch grass (Elytrigia repens)