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Species Profiles



Scientific name: Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. (ITIS)

Synonyms: Imperata arundinacea, Lagurus cylindricus (ITIS)

Common names: Cogongrass, Cogon grass, Japanese bloodgrass, Red Baron grass

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Selected Resources

Native To: In doubt: East Africa (Evans 1987, 1991); Southeastern Asia; (Holm et al. 1977)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First arrived accidentally in Louisiana in 1912, and it was introduced intentionally to Florida in the 1930s (Bryson and Carter 1993)

Means of Introduction: Used as packing material for imported goods (Tabor 1949); introduced intentionally as forage (Dozier et al. 1998) and for erosion control (Moorehead et al. 2007)

Impact: Forms dense stands that crowd out native species (Lippincott 1997)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:

  • Noxious Weeds Program
    USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
    Includes species listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import or transport between States without a permit.



Selected Resources:

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Council or Task Force

Why Should I Care About Cogongrass?
Georgia Invasive Species Task Force.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Provides comprehensive information on cogongrass in Georgia along with links to other southeastern state efforts on cogongrass. To date, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have on-going research, education and/or control programs that are supported by university, state and federal agency cooperators.

Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the U.S. - Fact Sheet: Imperata cylindrica
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Imperata cylindrica
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth - Cogongrass
Mississippi State University. Geosystems Research Institute.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Cogongrass
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Imperata cylindrica

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Cogongrass
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Imperata cylindrica
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Imperata cylindrica (grass)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Imperata cylindrica
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Imperata brasiliensis, I. cylindrica
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Cogongrass: Help Needed to Destroy This Nuisance Weed in Alabama (PDF | 849 KB)
USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
See also: Forest Management Publications for more publications

PLANTS Database - Cogongrass
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Imperata cylindrica
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

State Government

Invasive Species: Cogongrass
Alabama Forestry Commission.

Invasive Non-Native Plants: Cogon Grass
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Florida Forest Service.

Weed Alerts: Cogon Grass
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Cogongrass in Georgia
Georgia Forestry Commission.


Stop Cogongrass Hitchhikers (Feb 2009)
Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
See also: Extension Publications - Cogongrass for more publications

Cogongrass in Arkansas
University of Arkansas. Cooperative Extension Service.

EDIS Topic - Cogongrass
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources

Plant Profile: Imperata cylindrica
University of Florida. IFAS. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Cogongrass
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.

Invasive Species Program: Cogongrass
Clemson University (South Carolina). Regulatory Services.


Bryson, C.T. and R. Carter. 1993. Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica, in the United States. Weed Technology 7:1005-1009.

Dozier, H., J.F. Gaffney, S.K. McDonald, E.R. Johnson, and D.G. Shilling. 1998. Cogongrass in the United States: history, ecology, impacts, and management. Weed Technology 737-743.

Evans, H.C. 1987. Fungal pathogens of some subtropical and tropical weeds and the possibilities for biological control. Biocontrol News and Information 8:7-30.

Evans, H.C. 1991. Biological control of tropical grassy weeds, pp. 52-72. In: F.W.G. Baker and P.J. Terry (Eds.), Tropical Grassy Weeds. Wallingford, U.K.: CAB International.

Holm, L.G., D.L. Plucknett, J.V. Pancho, and J.P. Herberger. 1977. The world’s worst weeds: Distribution and biology. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of Hawaii.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Imperata cylindrica. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Lippincott, C.L. 1997. Ecological consequences of Imperata cylindrica(cogongrass) invasion in Florida sandhill. PhD dissertation, University of Florida.

Moorehead, D.J., C.T. Bargeron, and G.K. Douce. 2007. Cogongrass distribution and spread prevention (PDF | 213 KB). In: N.J. Loewenstein and J.H. Miller (Eds.), Proceedings of the Regional Cogongrass Conference: A Cogongrass Management Guide (pp. 24-27). U.S. Forest Service.

Tabor, P. 1949. Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv., in the southeastern United States. Agronomy Journal 41:270.

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Last Modified: Aug 25, 2018
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