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Cogongrass infestation in Tift County, Georgia - Photo by Karan Rawlins; University of Georgia
Scientific Name: 

Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. (ITIS)

Imperata arundinacea, Lagurus cylindricus (ITIS)
Common Name: 
Cogongrass, Cogon grass, Japanese bloodgrass, Red Baron grass
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)


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


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 or 501-225-1598.

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

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.
USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey. National Agricultural Pest Information System.

Federally Regulated

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.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.


Google. YouTube; University of Florida. IFAS. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
Google. YouTube; Alabama Forestry Commission.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Cogongrass.

Council or Task Force

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.

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

State and Local Government

Georgia Forestry Commission.

Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.), is considered the seventh worst weed in the world and listed as a federal noxious weed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Plant Protection and Quarantine. Cogongrass infestations are being found primarily in south Georgia but is capable of growing throughout the state. Join the cogongrass eradication team in Georgia and be a part of protecting our state's forest and wildlife habitat. Report a potential cogongrass sighting online or call your local GFC Forester.

Mississippi Forestry Commission.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Alabama Forestry Commission.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Mississippi State University. Extension.

University of Arkansas. Cooperative Extension Service.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.

Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources

Clemson University (South Carolina). Regulatory Services.

University of Florida. IFAS. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.


  • 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.