Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Invasive species search: Imperata, bloodgrass, cogongrass

I am looking for stands or specimens of gogongrass, Imperata cylindrica, such as the cultivar known as ‘Red Baron’ that may have reverted in part or in whole from the red form to green. Please write to me a ipetrus(at)msn.com with any information you may have.

According to the web site at Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia, “The ‘Red Baron’ cultivar of I. cylindrica has bright, showy, blood-red leaf edges. It is frequently sold across the U.S. in plant nurseries and is widely available over the Internet for ornamental use. It is often described as being non-invasive, although published proof of this claim is lacking.”

“Cogon grass can invade and overtake disturbed ecosystems, forming a dense mat of thatch and leaves that makes it nearly impossible for other plants to coexist. Large infestations of cogon grass can alter the normal fire regime of a fire-driven ecosystem by causing more frequent and intense fires that injure or destroy native plants. Cogon grass displaces a large variety of native plant species used by native animals (e.g., insects, mammals, and birds) as forage, host plants and shelter. Some ground-nesting species have also been known to be displaced due to the dense cover that cogon grass creates” - Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.

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