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Domestic Programs Pest Evaluation. Arthur E. Miller, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, AERO, Raleigh, NC. March 27, 2003
Scientific name: Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv (Poaceae)
Physical description: Cogongrass is a perennial plant. It usually grows to 3 feet tall and looks similar to Johnsongrass. The leaves have an off-center and whitish midrib. Basal leaves may grow up to 3 feet long and 1/2 inch wide. The leaf margins rough and translucent.
The flowers (spikelets) are grouped into a large panicle with a fuzzy, plume-like structure which can float through the air. These hairy structures are shiny and give the panicle a cottony or silky appearance.
Origin and North American Distribution: Cogongrass (CG) is native to the Old World tropics and was introduced into AL, FL, and MS for forage and erosion control. Currently it is found in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC, TX, and VA.
Quarantines: CG is a Federal Noxious Weed.
Dispersal: Seeds and rhizomes are spread along highways by mowers and other equipment. Some nurseries sell bloodgrass which may be stressed a wild type or return to wild type.
Control: Property managers and cooperators may use these strategies:
Economic impact: CG ranks as the world's seventh worst weed and currently infests over 1250 million acres worldwide. It infests agricultural, forest, urban, and natural areas. The tall dead leaves are a roadside fire hazard. CG harms pine plantings because it is weedy and a fire hazard. CG has a negative impact on gross receipts from National Forest land relative to recreational user fees, timber sales, land use fees and mineral leases.
Environmental impact: It grows along road edges and in disturbed areas, but then invades and disrupts native plant communities. It is unpalatable as a forage and not suited for erosion control because of its agressive weedy nature. As herbivorous wildlife populations decrease, some predatory species are adversely effected.
Benefits of control: Agricultural, forest, urban and natural areas benefit can from control and prevention of further spread of this FNW.
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The Bugwood Network, USDA Forest Service & USDA APHIS PPQ.
The University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forest Resources and
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Dept. of Entomology
Last updated on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 at 01:31 PM
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