Jointed goatgrass is most commonly described as a winter annual species. However, it has been observed to produce spikes in spring crops, apparently without being exposed to vernalizing conditions. A controlled environment study was conducted to determine the reproductive response of jointed goatgrass plants grown from seeds of fall- and spring-emerging parent plants to various vernalization durations. Winter wheat was included as a control. Winter wheat spikelet production was dependent on vernalization, and the number of spikes per plant was 10-fold greater if the plants were exposed to 4 C for 10 wk. In contrast, jointed goatgrass spike production without vernalization remained as high as 50% of that produced by plants exposed to 10 wk of vernalization conditions. Jointed goatgrass is thus not as dependent on vernalization for reproduction as the comparative winter wheat standard. Apparently, jointed goatgrass is more a facultative rather than an obligate winter annual. Rotating to a spring-seeded crop should not be expected to completely prevent jointed goatgrass seed production. Fields rotated to spring wheat to eliminate jointed goatgrass seed production should be monitored, and jointed goatgrass should be hand pulled or otherwise controlled to ensure zero seed production.
Nomenclature: Jointed goatgrass, Aegilops cylindrica L. AEGCY; winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘Madsen’.