Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 161 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
Hymenachne amplexicaulis is occasionally found growing in wet pastures from the central peninsula to Collier county. It is native to the West Indies and blooms in the fall (Wunderlin, 2003).
Appearance: Robust perennial grass from stolons. Stems floating, creeping, or ascending to 1m (3 ft) or more in height; sparingly branched, rooting at the lower nodes; stems pithy, not hollow.
Leaves: Sheaths glabrous but with hairs on upper margins; ligule a membrane. Leaf blades flat, to 35 cm (14 in) long and to 4 cm (1.6 in) wide; cordate at the base and clasping the stem (amplexicaul); glabrous but with long hairs on lower margins.
Flowers: In a spike-like, densely flowered panicle, to 26 cm (10 in) long and ~1 cm (0.4 in) wide; spikelets short-stalked.
Fruit: 3–4 mm (0.12 – 0.16 in) long.
Ecological threat: Displacing native maidencane communities; colonizing, and becoming difficult to control along drainage canals of south central Florida. FLEPPC Category I
Distribution: C, SW, SE
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
For general information about West Indian marsh grass, download this UF/IFAS-EDIS publication, Exotics in the Wetlands: West Indian marsh grass, by R. Diaz, W.A. Overholt and J.P. Cuda.
View more information and pictures about West Indian marsh grass, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book, Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
Wetland Weeds: West Indian Marsh Grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis), Rodrigo Diaz, William A. Overholt, and James P. Cuda
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.