Annual, widespread, tuft-forming, seed-propagated grass weed of warmer regions with fibrous, rather shallow roots, up to 60 mm (2.36 inch).
A. fatua is widely distributed in North America and Australia (A. fatua and A. sterilis), in Europe mostly A. fatua, in Africa mostly A. sterilis. It is widespread in summer wheat production and due to a very high growth rate it greatly reduces yield. Because its comparable to wheat, it is very competitive; only 5 plants/ha (2 plants/a.) are tolerated on wheat seed propagation fields. Infested wheat seeds are difficult tot clean.
Very short, reduced glume and dense form of the panicle.
Culms stout, erect to decumbent, often branching from the base, rather tall (30-60 cm) (11.81 - 23.62 inch).
Leaf blades glabrous, elongate, 3-6 mm (0.118 - 0.24 inch) wide, 10-15 cm (3.93 - 5.9 inch) long, light green with a white midrib. The first leaves are grayish dull-green, often with several widely spaced purple bands on the leaf blade surface. Youngest leaf is rolled. Ligule absent. No auricles. Sheath glabrous.