Napier grass

Quick Facts

Scientific namePennisetum purpureum
OriginOld World, Africa
IntroductionEarly 1900s, forage grass
Aquatic communityEmergent grass
HabitatShorelines, wet to dry soils
DistributionCentral and South Florida
Management effortComplaint management
2014 public waters / plant acres:17 / 22

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Clump-forming grass up to 12 feet tall along shorelines, in wet to dry soils
  • Most often in disturbed areas, especially along canal banks
  • Hinders flood control by blocking access to canals and impeding water flow
  • Deep fibrous root system enables drought resistance, but plant can be injured by freezes
  • Propagates vegetatively from root crown divisions or rhizome and stem fragments, especially after mechanical control such as tilling
Pennisetum purpureum
Pennisetum purpureum
Pennisetum purpureum
Pennisetum purpureum

Management Options

BiologicalNone available
ChemicalGlyphosate, imazapyr
MechanicalMowing; harvest or shred floating mats
PhysicalDrawdown, desiccation, and burning

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2009-2010.

Last updated: 30 December 2014