Cogongrass -
one of the top 10 noxious weeds in the world

Now in the Francis Marion National Forest

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cogon grass

Cogongrass was first found in the Francis Marion National Forest in November 2006.  This very aggressive Asian grass has the potential to eliminate plant and animal diversity throughout the Forest.  Cogongrass forms extremely dense stands and it may secrete chemicals that are toxic to other species.  No other plants can compete with cogongrass.  It has very low value for wildlife because of its rough edges and high silica content.  Stands of cogongrass are nearly impenetrable.  Cogongrass is fire-tolerant, and disrupts both natural and prescribed fire regimes.  The US Forest Service and many other organizations are committed to eradicating cogongrass in the Francis Marion National Forest.  Please help by reporting any sighting of this noxious weed to Dr. Jean Everett at or 843-953-7843.  Sightings should also be reported to the Department of Plant Industry at Clemson and to your local Cooperative Extension Office.  Even if the plant is on private land, please report it so that we can contact the landowner and offer assistance in eradication.  Click here for more information.

Click on thumbnail for larger, higher resolution images
All images copyright of Jean Everett, unless noted - you may use with credit for educational purposes only.  Please contact me if you need higher resolution images for presentations.
Clumps growing together
Habit from a distance
Roadside stands in FMNF
Roadside stand in FMNF
Roadside stands in FMNF
Cogon grass moving into upland habitat
Top of leaf showing off center mid-vein
Leaf with off center mid-vein
Silky hairs on leaf sheath
Sharp-pointed rhizome
Flowers, photo by Chris Evans
photo by Chris Evans
Whole Plant, photo by Chris Evans
photo by Chris Evans

Distribution Maps:
Known locations in the Francis Marion National Forest, December 2006
Other locations in the Lowcountry
Distribution in the Southeast, December 2006

Links to additional sources of information: – a complete description, control measures and many links – describes similar species and tells how to distinguish cogon grass – many additional links

website last updated: 21 June 2007