Imperata cylindrica - (L.) Palisot
Cogon Satintail
Other English Common Names: Cogongrass
Other Common Names: cogongrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. (TSN 783590)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133529
Element Code: PMPOA3D040
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Imperata
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Imperata cylindrica
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Oregon (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Virginia (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, FLexotic, GAexotic, LAexotic, MSexotic, ORexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, VAexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High
Rounded I-Rank: High
I-Rank Reasons Summary: A pest even in its native range (Van Loan et al. 2002), Imperata cylindrica alters ecosystem processes, community structure, and community composition (Van Loan et al. 2002, Tu and Myers-Rice 2002, FL-EPPC). Creating a dense tall grass layer and thatch, it alters natural fire regimes to more severe fires (Van Loan et al. 2002) and can drastically reduce native plant species diversity, especially in communities characterized by short, diverse herbaceous layers (Brewer 2008). It may also displace native species via allelopathy (Van Loan et al. 2002). It can destroy habitat for gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and indigo snakes (Drymarchon corais couperi) (Van Loan et al. 2002). I. cylindrica threatens a number of rare communities, such as sandhills and longleaf pine-wiregrass savannas (Van Loan et al. 2002). Reproduces vegetatively and by small wind-born seed, and rapidly resprouts from even small pieces of cut rhizome (Van Loan et al. 2002). Control methods combine cutting and herbicide treatments that have high impact on non-target species (Van Loan et al. 2002). Requires many years of management to achieve control (Johnson 1998).
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High
I-Rank Review Date: 28Jan2009
Evaluator: Heffernan, K. (2004), minor revisions K. Maybury (2007), K. Gravuer (2009)
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eurasia (Randall 2004)

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Infests lawns, pastures, golf courses, roadways, railways, forests, recreational and natural areas (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002. FL-EPPC).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Sandhill communities, desert dunes, wetlands, savannas, forests, and other natural areas (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002; FL-EPPC).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:High significance
Comments: Alters fire regimes and nutrient availability (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002; FL-EPPC).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Creates hotter taller fires which change community structure (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002; FL-EPPC). I. cylindrica is also taller than the native herbaceous layer in some invaded communities such as longleaf pine savannas (Brewer 2008), so invasion changes the herbaceous layer height.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High significance
Comments: Outcompetes native species and may be allelopathic (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002; FL-EPPC). Per C. Ramsey (pers. comm. to L. Oliver, 2006): definitely allelopathic and quickly eliminates native plant diversity except existing taller shrubs and trees. At two longleaf pine flatwoods sites in Mississippi, Brewer (2008) documented up to an 80% reduction in plant species richness as a result of I. cylindrica invasion in just three years. The primary mechanism of displacement in that study appeared to be shading, and short herbs indicative of longleaf pine savannas were more vulnerable to displacement than were taller generalist species, reducing the distinctiveness of the native flora.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance
Comments: Can destroy habitat of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) and indigo snakes (Drymarchon corais couperi) (Van Loan et al. 2002).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High significance
Comments: Threatens sandhill communities and longleaf pine-wiregrass savannas, among others (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002). Infesting Florida EvergladesThreatens several communities of conservation concern, including sandhill communities and longleaf pine-wiregrass savannas, among others (Van Loan et al. 2002; Tu and Myers-Rice 2002). Infesting Florida Everglades National Park (FL-EPPC).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Most southeastern states and Oregon (Kartesz and Meacham 1999; Van Loan et al. 2002).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: 100,000 ha in AL, FL, MS (Van Loan et al. 2002).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Low significance
Comments: Seven TNC ecoregions. (Heffernan, pers. obs., using USDA-NRCS 2004; Van Loan 2002; Slaats 1999).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: Xeric uplands to fully shaded mesic sites: sandhills, flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, sand dunes, grasslands, river margins, swamps, scrub, and wet pine savanna (Van Loan et al. 2002).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Believed to have been introduced in the Mobile Bay area of Alabama in the mid-1900s, this species has since spread throughout much of the southeastern U.S., with range expansion believed to be ongoing, at least in some areas (Brewer 2008). Recently reported from Virginia (J. Kartesz, 2006 unpublished data) and is said to be moving northward into South Carolina, as well as expanding in the west (C. Ramsey, pers. comm. to L. Oliver, 2006). Also recently confirmed in Henderson County, Tennessee (T. Hogan, pers. comm. to C. Nordman 2008).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Range may be limited by temperature and rainfall requirements, and the species may therefore currently be near the extent of its potential generalized range in the U.S. (Van Loan et al. 2002). Nevertheless, reports of some ongoing expansion at the range margins suggest that some additional area may yet be invaded.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Spreads primarily by vegetative reproduction; small numersous seed, although germination infrequent (Van Loan et al. 2002; Johnson 1998).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Per C. Ramsey (pers. comm. to L. Oliver, 2006) cogongrass is still filling in in its current range: "It has just started to occupy its current range in FL, AL, and MS. It is highly agressive and is invading all the hurrrican timber harvest areas as fast as they are being cut.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Readily invades conservation areas (Van Loan et al. 2002; Johnson 1998). Grows in full sunlight to partial shade and thus can invade a range of sites (Miller 2003).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: A worldwide pest species, even in its native range (Van Loan et al. 2002).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High significance
Comments: Spreads vegetatively and by small, wind-born seed; rapidly resprouts from even very small piece of cut rhizome (Van Loan et al. 2002).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High

17. General Management Difficulty:High significance
Comments: Current mechancial and chemical methods expensive and have severe impact on natives (Van Loan et al. 2002; Johnson 1998).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High significance
Comments: Integrated pest management method demands many years to achieve control (Van Loan et al. 2002; Johnson 1998).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High significance
Comments: Severe due to combined use of mechanical and herbicide treatments (Van Loan et al. 2002; Johnson 1998).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Insignificant
Comments: Not identified as a concern.

Other Considerations: Development of cold-hardy ornamental cultivars a cause of concern for areas not yet infested (Van Loan et al. 2002: Tu and Meyers-Rice 2002).
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Brewer, J.S. 2008. Declines in plant species richness and endemic plant species in longleaf pine savannas invaded by Imperata cylindrica. Biological Invasions 10:1257-1264.

  • Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FL-EPPEC). No date. Imperata cylindrica. Available at http://www.fleppec.org/pdf/Imperatacylindrica.pdf (accessed March 2004). 2 p.

  • Johnson, E.R.R.L. 1998. Cogon grass. Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group. Available at http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/imcy1.htm (accessed February 2004).

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp.

  • Slaats, J. 1999. TNC ecoregions and divisions map. Available at http://gis.tnc.org/data/MapbookWebsite/map_page.php?map_id=9 (accessed February 2004).

  • Tu, M. and B. Meyers-Rice. 2002. Weed notes: Imperata cylindrica. The Nature Conservancy. Available at http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/moredocs/impcyl01.pdf (accessed February 2004). 2 p.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov) . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Van Loan, A.N., J.R. Meeker, and M.C. Minno. In: Van Driesche, R., et al., 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the Eastern United States. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Publication FHTET-2002-04. 413 p.

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