Help me identify this weed/grass

This weed/grass has a single stem 8 to 12 inches long and about 1/16" in diameter. At the top is a tiny pine-cone-shaped bud about 3/4" to 1" long and 1/4" in diameter surrounded with a corona of very tiny white flowers spoking out from the bud. The bud is usually a brownish color above the corona and green below it. The slender stem is green and not circular in cross section - maybe square or pentagonal. It is fairly common here in the midwest at this time of year.

Can anyone tell me what it is?

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A plantain (narrow leaf or buckthorn)?


Thank you, kayaker. That is indeed it.

You described it well!

When I was a kid, we had a reel-style power mower, and it would run right over those buckhorn weeds and leave them unscathed.

Another “when I was a kid” — we used to shoot those at each other. Pick it at the base so the stem is long, make a loop, and fold the base end tightly over the stem a couple inches back of the pod head. If you whip that folded part forward, it’ll pop the seed head off with a fair bit of force. Fun times.

We threw lawn darts at each other.

Oh, we did that too.

And bottle rockets, and roman candles, and potato guns, and, and, and …