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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Cyperus blepharoleptos (formerly classified as Oxycarium cubense)
  • Origin: South & Central America to Mexico
  • Introduction:Late 1880s – Migratory birds / ship ballast
  • Aquatic community: Emergent
  • Habitat: Rooted in wet soils to floating mats
  • Distribution: Statewide – expanding
  • Management effort: Maintenance to lowest feasible level
  • 2017 public waters / plant acres: 241 (52%) / 645
  • 2017 Waters / acres controlled: 96 / 3410

Cuban club rush Cuban club rush

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Perennial, rhizomatous emergent plant
  • Rooted in the substrate – frequent floating mats
  • Forms dense rooted stands that can alter habitats and exclude native plants
  • Fragments drift into and colonize stands of emergent plants
    • overgrow and outcompete other emergent plants
    • dense floating / drifting mats shade out submersed plants
    • restrict water flow and motor boat traffic
  • Reproduces by seeds and fragment that drift to and colonize new areas
    • contribute to rapid spread and invasiveness
    • fragments easily spread by boat traffic or water movement
  • Expanded from a few Florida public waters in the 1980s to more than half in 2017
  • Two biotypes in Florida – O. cubense forma cubense, and O. cubense forma paraguayense
    • Not understood if different biotypes react differently to different herbicides and rates

Management Options

  • Biological: None available
  • Chemical: Glyphosate, Diquat, 2,4-D, Imazapyr
  • Mechanical: Occasionally harvest mats
  • Physical: Occasional drawdown and fire

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.