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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: 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
  • 2017 public waters / plant acres: 8 (2%) / 53
  • 2017 Waters / acres controlled: 0 / 0

Napier GrassNapier Grass


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
  • Tall, dense growths can hinder boat launch or shoreline access
  • 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

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 2016-2017.