Cogongrass is an aggressive, rhizomatous, invasive perennial grass that is scattered throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and has become a serious problem in Florida and other Gulf Coast States. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate the growth and spread of rhizomes of grass species grown in combination with other native grass species. Native grass species used included: switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L), maidencane (Panicum hemitomon Schult.), and muhlygrass (Muhlenbergia capillaries (Lam) Trin.). All plants were raised in tubbets and then transplanted to 7.6 L greenhouse pots in different combinations with cogongrass. Data on rhizomes of cogongrass and maidencane (rhizomatous species) were recorded during the harvest periods (6, 12, 18 or 24 weeks). The mean number and mean total length of cogongrass rhizomes ranged from 3 to 8 and 0.06 to 0.14 m at 6 weeks to 40 to 94 and 8.37 to 20.39 m at 24 weeks, respectively. Similarly, the mean number and mean total length of maidencane rhizomes ranged from 0.01 to 3 and 0.05 to 0.27 m at 6 weeks to 11 to 26 and 1.57 to 3.31 m at 24 weeks, respectively. There were 51 to 74% and 47 to 74% reductions in the mean total length of cogongrass rhizomes grown in combination than those grown individually at 12 and 18 weeks, respectively. The mean number of cogongrass rhizomes had 54 to 71% reductions when in combination than individually at 12 weeks. Likewise, at 18 weeks the mean number and mean total length of rhizomes of maidencane were reduced by 51 to 65% and 20 to 75%, respectively, when grown in combination with others grasses than alone. The number and spread of rhizomes explain cogongrass' invasiveness and competitiveness. The reduction of cogongrass in combination with native species shows a prospect that some Florida native grasses could reduce the invasiveness of cogongrass in the Gulf Coast States.


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