cogongrass USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: IMCY
Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv.
Synonym(s): cogon grass, alang-alang, Japanese blood grass

Cogongrass is a perennial, colony-forming grass which can grow up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. Leaves have an off-center, whitish midrib and finely serrated margins. Leaves are up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) long, 0.5-0.75 in. (1.3-1.9 cm) wide, stiff, and have a sharp, pointed apex. Rhizomes are whitish, branched, scaly and sharp at the tips. Cogongrass is best identified in the spring by the large fuzzy panicle of flowers and seeds, giving the plant a cottony or silky look. Flower heads are 2-8 in. (5.1-20.3 cm) long, silvery-white and cylindrical. Cogongrass is an extremely aggressive invader with the capability of invading a range of sites. It forms dense, usually circular infestations that exclude all other vegetation. Cogongrass is native to Southeast Asia and was accidently introduced into the southeast United States in packing material in the early 1900s. It was also intentionally introduced for erosion control and livestock forage.

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