Urochloa maxima


Nonnative to Florida Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: Africa

A large non-native grass. Earliest Florida specimen available vouchered in 1933.

Species Characteristics

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Robust, densely-tufted perennial grass to 3 m tall. Rhizome may bear hairy reduced-leaf remnants. Stem stout, erect, glabrous to hairy, nodes often densely hairy.

Leaves: Leaf sheath glabrous to stiff-hairy, often with dense patches of hair at junction with leaf blade. Ligule membranous, to 6 mm long. Leaf blade flat, linear, to 90 cm long and 3.5 cm wide, glabrous to softly or coarsely hairy on upper surface, margin may be rough to the touch.

Flowers: many-branched, erect or slightly nodding panicle, to 60 cm tall and 20 cm wide, with 3-7 whorled lower branchlets.

Spikelets: clustered on branchlets, short stalked, to 4 mm long, green to purplish, oblong, blunt-tipped or slightly pointed, glabrous or slightly hairy, first glume 1/3 length of spikelet, second glume equal length to spikelet, upper floret fertile, developing a dull, white seed.

Distribution in Florida: throughout


Can be found in mesic flatwoods, coastal strand, maritime hammock, xeric hammock, sandhill, scrub, pine rockland.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Decontaminate vehicles, equipment, and gear when working or recreating in infested areas.


None known.


3-5% Glyphosate foliar, Glyphosate 2% plus Imazapyr 0.5%, or Imazapyr 1-2% yield similar results, retreat at 2-4, 3-5, 4-6 months respectively. 

Consult your local UF IFAS Extension Office for management recommendations.

Learn more about this species

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas

Identification and Control of Johnsongrass, Vaseygrass, and Guinea grass in Pastures

Atlas of Florida Plants

USDA Plant Database