Biology and control of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern forests

  • Authors: Minogue, Patrick J.; Brodbeck, Brent V; Miller, James H.
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication (MISC)
  • Source: This document is FR342, one of a series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension.


Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv.) is a warmseason perennial grass species found throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world (Hubbard 1944). Native to Southeast Asia, cogongrass is an aggressive invasive plant that that has spread to all continents except Antarctica (MacDonald 2004) and is considered among the worst problematic weeds on a global scale (Holm et al. 1977). In the United States, it is naturalized in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Oregon (USDA Plants 2017). It was first accidentally introduced in the United States near Mobile Alabama in 1912 (Tabor 1949 and 1952, Dickens 1974) and subsequently intentionally introduced from the Philippines into Mississippi as a forage crop in 1921 (Tabor 1949 and 1952, Patterson et al. 1979, Tanner and Werner 1986). Plants from Mississippi were replanted in Florida for forage and soil stabilization in the 1930s (Tabor 1949, Hall 1983, USDA NISIC 2017), though its high silica and low protein content made cogongrass an inadequate forage crop (Coile and Shilling 1993, Garrity et al. 1993). These early regional introductions contributed to the establishment of cogongrass in the Southeast. Points of introduction, including forage trials, are often areas where cogongrass remains most well established (Willard et al. 1990). Cogongrass is regulated as a federal noxious weed (USDA Plants 2017).

  • Citation: Minogue, Patrick J.; Brodbeck, Brent V.; Miller, James H. 2018. Biology and control of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern forests. This document is FR342, one of a series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date March 2018. Visit the EDIS website at
  • Posted Date: July 17, 2018
  • Modified Date: August 16, 2018
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.