Imperata cylindrica (Cogon grass)

Pulang ---> Imperata cylindrica

Imperata cylindrica is one of the top 10 worst weeds in the world, and is a pantropical species that covers as much as 500 million hectares of land worldwide. In Asia, the estimate is that cogongrass is dominant in up to 200 million hectares, and that infestations are growing by 150,000 hectares every year (Soerjani, 1970). In some countries like Sri Lanka, cogongrass covers an astounding 23% of the country! Other countries in that area have varying degrees of cogongrass cover, with the Philippines at 17%, Vietnam at 9%, and Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh all with about 3-4% of their land area infested with I. cylindrica (Garrity at al, 1996).

In the USA, I. cylindrica is limited to the more tropical southeastern parts of the country, where it covers up to about half a million hectares.

Articles about Imperata cylindrica

Various articles I have written about Imperata cylindrica in the blog Sejarah Poaceae. The site features stories of my adventures among the grasses. It's also a place where I focus on studies of the Poaceae in general, as well as an outlet for some of the photography I do.

How to identify Imperata cylindrica (Cogon Grass)

Some ways to identify the species. Unlike many other plants, grasses have minute flowers, and their vegetative structures all tend to be...well, grass-like. There are however ways of trying to identify a particular species that might be useful for everyone.

Selected Research of Imperata cylindrica

Some abstracts and summaries of research papers that I believe are important towards understanding this species.

Selected videos of Imperata cylindrica

Selected videos that focus on the ecology and impacts of Cogon grass in invaded areas.


D. P. Garrity, M. Soekardi, M. van Noordwijk, R. de la Cruz, P. S. Pathak, H. P. M. Gunasena, N. van So, G. Huijun & N. M. Majid (1996). The Imperata grasslands of tropical Asia: area, distribution, and typology. Agroforestry Systems volume 36, pages3–29

Holm, L. G., D. L. Plucknett, J. V. Pancho, and J. P. Herberger. 1977. The World’s Worst Weeds: Distribution and Biology. University Press of Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Soerjani, M. 1970. Alang-alang Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. (1812) Pattern of growth as related to its problem of control. BIOTROP Bulletin No. 1. Regional Center for Tropical Biology, Bogor, Indonesia.

Penulis: A. Sunjian