UACES Facebook Arkansas Invasive Pests | Cogongrass

Cogongrass in Arkansas

Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrical (L.) P. Beauv., is often categorized as one of the top 10 worst weeds in the world and is perhaps the worst potential invader on our borders.  Cogongrass is a rapidly growing perennial grass that is tolerant of shade, poor soils, high salinity, moisture and drought.  Cogongrass can invade pastures, natural or planted forests, riparian areas, highway rights-of-way, urban areas, and wetlands.  It is native to Southeast Asia and was introduced into the U.S. in 1911 near Mobile, Alabama, as packing material in shipping containers.

Cogongrass

What is cogongrass?

  • Cogongrass is often categorized as one of the top ten worst weeds in the world
  • Cogongrass is a rapidly growing perennial grass that is tolerant of a wide range of site conditions
  • Cogongrass invades pastures, natural or planted forests, riparian areas, highway rights-of-way, urban areas and wetlands
  • Cogongrass is native to Southeast Asia
  • Cogongrass was introduced into the U.S. in 1911 near Mobile, Alabama, as packing material in shipping containers

Image:  Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Learn more about cogongrass and the problems it creates
 Cogongrass midvein

What does cogongrass look like?

  • Cogongrass has a prominent whitish main leaf vein that is offset to one side of the leaf, especially toward the tip
  • Leaves are often yellowish-green
  • Cylindrical fluffy seed head 2 – 8 inches long
  • Overlapping leaves arising from the base of the plant
  • Sharply pointed rhizomes covered in flaky scales

Image:  Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Learn to identify cogongrass

 Cogongrass rhizome

Who spreads cogongrass?

  • Cogongrass spreads naturally via fluffy windblown seeds
  • Cogongrass seeds are spread by automobiles and agricultural equipment
  • Cogongrass spreads through ornamental plant trade in some places
  • Cogongrass spreads via rhizome fragments imbedded in soil carried by agricultural equipment

Image:  Wilson Faircloth, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Find out how you can avoid spreading cogongrass

 Burning cogongrass

How will cogongrass affect you?

  • Dense cogongrass stands hinder tree planting
  • Cogongrass reduces tree seedling survival
  • Cogongrass creates a fire hazard in forests
  • Cogongrass degrades the quality of our wildlife habitat

Image:  Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Find out how cogongrass will impact you

 Treating a cogongrass infestation

What can we do about cogongrass?

  • Dense cogongrass stands hinder tree planting
  • Cogongrass reduces tree seedling survival
  • Cogongrass creates a fire hazard in forests
  • Cogongrass degrades the quality of our wildlife habitat

Image:  Terry English, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Learn what you can do to stop cogongrass

 Map of the range of Cogongrass

Where is cogongrass?

  • Currently, cogongrass infests over 1 million acres (400,000 ha) in the Southeast
  • Cogongrass has not been reported in the wild in Arkansas, yet
  • Cogongrass has been reported in western Mississippi
  • Horticultural forms of cogongrass have been found in Arkansas
  • Horticultural forms of cogongrass eventually revert to the wild form and escape into the wild

Map:  Cogongrass.org

Find out how close cogongrass is to YOU

Resources

Documents

Cogongrass Distribution and Spread Prevention

Cogongrass: A New Threat to Georgia

Cogongrass: [Imperata cylindrical (L.) Beauv.]

Stop Cogongrass Hitchhikers

Identification of Cogongrass and Other Commonly Mistaken Grasses

Field Guide to the Identification of Cogongrass

Mapping, Control, and Revegetation of Cogongrass Infestations on Alabama Right-of-Way

Web Sites

Cogongrass.org

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center

TexasInvasives.org

Invasive.org/cogongrass

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Cogongrass

Videos

Cogongrass Identification

Cogongrass Fire

Cogongrass on a Roadside