Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast
Common Name: Cogongrass, Japanese Blood Grass
Scientific Name: Imperata cylindrica
Identification: Cogongrass is an aggressive perennial grass reaching 1 to 5 feet in height. Leaves are 1 to 4 feet long and pointed. The stem is moderately stout. The flowers are silky panicles, 1 to 8 inches long appearing from February to May. Seeds are small, brown, with silver husks and mature from May to June.
Ecology: Cogongrass is adaptable to a variety of environmental conditions. It grows rapidly and colonizes by rhizomes, wind dispersed seeds, and is promoted by burning. Cogongrass invades right-of-ways, forests, fields, and pastures. Few wildlife species use Cogongrass.
Plant Control: Cogongrass can be difficult to control. Dense patches can be treated with 5% glyphosate and surfactant solution in late summer. Monitor and re-treat annually until control is achieved.
Alternative Native Species: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), Splitbeard Bluestem (Andropogon ternarius), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
When using herbicides remember to follow label-recommendations. Any mention of trade, products, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by North Carolina State University.
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