Small fuzzy white seeded weed in texas

Cogongrass

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is known for infesting in dense circular patches that reach an average of 3 to 4 feet in height. During winter months, cogongrass may turn brown, but is dependent on the temperature. The leaves of cogongrass are usually green and begin just above the soil line giving the appearance of no plant stem. Sheaths of the leaves overlap allowing for a round appearance. Leaves do not sprout from one dense clump of growth, but rather from several separate plants that are spread out at the soil. Cogongrass blooms from March to June with a white cylindrical seed head that appears at the opening of the grass blade. Seed heads are silver to white and appear fluffy, similar to dandelion seeds.

Ecological Threat

Cogongrass is known for its ability to grow in dense mats, preventing growth from other native species of plants. Prevention of native plant growth is facilitated by specialized rhizomes that conserve water and reach depths of 4 feet bellow the soil. Cogongrass is able to become established rapidly and forces out native plants based on increasing mass alone. Native plant species are at risk of sever habitat loss when cogongrass becomes established. Native wildlife also faces habitat loss when available food sources are reduced by an increase in cogongrass.

Biology

Seed production occurs in Spring with light fluffy seed heads formed at the top of the plant. Dispersion and spread of cogongrass is facilitated by wind transfer of seeds to new areas. However, it is not entirely clear that seed dispersal is the primary mode of propagation for cogongrass. Short term spread and survival is facilitated by rhizomes that are adapted for water conservation. Rhizomes are produced in mass amounts with one plant capable of releasing 3 tons per acre.

History

The first introduction of cogongrass in the United States was accidental. In 1912, the grass first appeared in Grand Bay, Alabama as a result of escaped rhizomes from an orange crate packing shipment. In 1921 cogongrass was intentionally introduced to Mississippi as a forage plant from the Philippines, followed by Florida in the 1930’s. Cogongrass was eventually placed on the noxious weed list after it was realized that there was no economic value for the plant and it was an aggressive pest.

Native Origin

Current Location

U.S. Habitat: Cogongrass is only found in the southeast region of the United states where the climate is warm and humid providing moisture and mild winters. Cogongrass can be found in a variety of habitats such as pastures, forests, gardens, roadsides, and vacant fields.

Distribution

U.S. Present: AL, CT, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA

For a CAPS/CERIS/USDA map of survey and eradication efforts click here .

Also, a map provided by EDDmapS is here .

Management

To effectively remove infestations of cogongrass it is important to detect the plant in early growing stages or when infestations are relatively small. If the infested area is mostly flat and small, tilling the soil beginning in late March can be effective with repeating tilling every 6 to 8 weeks with a soil depth of at least 6 inches. It is important to clean equipment used before tilling other areas to prevent the spread of cogongrass rhizomes to new areas. Mowing can be utilized to keep cogongrass under control, but must be repeated regularly and cut to a short length just above the soil. For areas that are not flat, herbicides containing glyphosate and impazapyr are the most effective.

References

Text References

Anoka, U.A., I.O. Akobundu and S.N.C. Okonkwo. 1991. Effects of Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud. and Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) deWit on growth and development of Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel. Agroforest. Syst. 16:1-12.

Avav, T. 2000. Control of speargrass (Imperata cylindrica (L) Raeuschel) with glyphosate and fluazifop-butyl for soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr) production in savanna zone of Nigeria. Journal of Science Food Agricriculture 80:193-196.

Brewer J. S. and S.P. Cralle. 2003. Phosphorus addition reduces invasion of longleaf pine savanna (Southeastern USA) by an non-indigenous grass (Imperata cylindrica). Plant Ecology 167:237-245.

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.R.L. Johnson and D.G. Shilling. 1998. Cogongrass in the United States: history, ecology, impacts, and management. Weed Technology 12:737-743.

Johnson, E.R.R.L., J.F. Gaffney and D.G. Shilling. 1999. The influence of discing on the efficacy of imazapyr for cogongrass [Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv.] control. Proc. South. Weed Sci. Soc. 52:165.

King, S.E. and J.B. Grace. 2000. The effects of gap size and disturbance type on invasion of wet pine savanna by cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (Poaceae). American Journal of Botany 87:1279-1287.

Willard, T.R., J.F. Gaffney, and D.G. Shilling. 1997. Influence of herbicide combinations and application technology on cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) control. Weed Technology 11:76-80.

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Books

Our Published Books

Brush and Weeds of Texas Rangelands (B-6208)

This field guide will help landowners and rangeland managers identify the brush and weed species of greatest concern in their areas. It includes plant descriptions, identifying characteristics, range maps, and multiple color photos for 99 species. Whether the land is being managed for livestock, for wildlife, or for recreation, this handbook will enable readers to identify problem species.

Toxic Plants of Texas (B-6105)

This field guide describes and illustrates the 106 most common potentially toxic plants in Texas. Included are clinical signs in cattle, horses, sheep and/or goats; toxic agents; suggested treatments for poisoned animals; and management strategies for plant infestations. A field key cross-references animal symptoms with plant species. Also included is an overview of integrated toxic plant management.

Know Your Grasses (B-182)

Grasses are one of Texas’ most valuable natural resources. This publication will introduce you to the amazing variety of native and introduced grasses in Texas. Plants are arranged alphabetically by common name, with scientific names given for clarity and reference. Each grass is beautifully illustrated and carefully described, with information about the areas of the state in which it can be found.