Quick Facts

Scientific name Pennisetum purpureum
Origin Old World, Africa
Introduction Early 1900s, forage grass
Aquatic community Emergent grass
Habitat Shorelines, wet to dry soils
Distribution Central and South Florida
Management effort Complaint 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

Management Options

Biological None available
Chemical Glyphosate, imazapyr
Mechanical Mowing; harvest or shred floating mats
Physical Drawdown, 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.