EXTENSION CONNECTION: Removing cogongrass takes effort

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM.

Aliens are invading our forests, pastures, fields and lawns. 

Actually, they are invasive weeds called cogongrass. 

Cogongrass — brought as packing material into Mobile, Ala., in the early 1900s — was later planted in Florida and other states as a potential forage and soil stabilizer. It has low forage value and is on the Federal Noxious Weed List. 

Drought and shade tolerant, it is yellowish green with an offset midrib and a fluffy white seed head. A single plant can produce 3,000 seeds. It grows in circular colonies. Mowing or burning while the plants are flowering can cause spread of seeds. 

The weed can spread through creeping rhizomes and seeds and quickly displaces desirable grasses and plants. Its roots may produce allelopathic chemicals that help it out-compete other plants for space.

Getting rid of it

Removing a cogongrass infestation requires intensive management. Mowing and burning will not eradicate it. Ditto for herbicide options.

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