Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section
Cogongrass – Identifying and eradicating a grassy weed
Cogongrass, a state and federal noxious weed, is considered one of the top 10 invasive weeds in the world. The grass spreads through seeds and rhizomes, and competes for resources with native plants and trees. The grass isn't suitable for wildlife forage and its density makes it difficult for small animals to burrow. Cogongrass also changes the fire structure of the forest, making forest fires and controlled burns very dangerous. Cogongrass is a serious concern for land managers working with forestry, roadsides, and utility right-of-ways.
Cogongrass seed head (left) and roots (right).
Cogongrass also burns very hot, so wildfires or even controlled burns can get out of hand quickly. The hot fires can also damage young tree stands, resulting in poor establishment and pest damage.
A large patch of cogongrass.
A controlled burn set by the NCFS to provide some control to a patch of cogongrass.
This weed has been found 10 times in NC since 2012 and the goal is to eradicate it before it becomes a larger problem. The table below shows a timeline and where the weed was found:
|Pender (#2 - Re-infest)||2017||In-Progress|
Distribution of Cogongrass since 2012 in North Carolina:
Printable PDF Map: Cogongrass Map
Information pertaining to Cogongrass can be found here:
A field guide to identifying Cogongrass has been published and you can find the digital version in the link below:
US Distribution of Cogongrass Infestation in 2010:
For more information regarding Cogongrass in NC, visit the following press releases:
It is also illegal to sell ornamental varieties of Cogongrass (Red Baron and Japanese Blood) in the state. NCDA & CS has prohibited any sale of the noxious weed. More information can be found below:Bridget Lassiter at (919) 707-3749.