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Cogongrass

Scientific Name

Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. (ITIS)

Common Name

Cogongrass, Cogon grass, Japanese bloodgrass, Red Baron grass

Synonym

Imperata arundinacea, Lagurus cylindricus (ITIS)

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)

Cogongrass

Cogongrass infestation in Tift County, Georgia

Credit

Photo by Karan Rawlins; University of Georgia

Find more images

Spotlights

  • New Cogongrass Campaign Addresses Threat to Alabama

    • Mar 2, 2022
    • Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

    • The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) has initiated a new social media campaign to raise awareness of the dangers cogongrass poses to the state. With agriculture and natural ecosystems at risk, ADAI is calling on Alabamians to recognize this threat and share the information.

      Cogongrass has now infested more than 75 percent of Alabama's counties. This federally regulated noxious weed was introduced in the U.S. in 1911 as packing material in the port of Mobile. In the decades since, it has greatly expanded and become more dangerous. Visit www.alcogongrass.com to learn how to spot cogongrass and report it when it blooms again in the spring.

  • Invasive Cogongrass Confirmed in Arkansas [PDF | 212 KB]

    • Jul 1, 2021
    • The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is notifying the public that a new invasive grass species, Cogongrass, has been confirmed in Arkansas for the first time. For several years botanists and land managers have been on the lookout for Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern Arkansas. This aggressive species, native to Southeast Asia, has spread rapidly across the Deep South over the past few decades. Cogongrass is considered one of the worst invasive species in the world, causing both economic and ecological damages that impact forestry, agriculture, rangeland, and natural ecosystems.

      Any sightings of Cogongrass in Arkansas should be reported to Paul Shell, the Department's Plant Inspection and Quarantine Program Manager, at paul.shell@agriculture.arkansas.gov or 501-225-1598.

  • New Cogongrass Fact Sheet Available

    • 2018
    • USDA. Forest Service; Southern Regional Extension Forestry. Forest Health Program.

    • Cogongrass is one of the world's worst invasive weeds, and is firmly established in several southeastern states. A new fact sheet, Cogongrass Biology and Management in the Southeastern U.S.,  is now available that outlines identification, biology, and management options for cogongrass. If you see it, report it!

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

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.

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Partnership
Federal Government
State and Local Government
Academic
Citations
  • 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.