Botanical name: Imperata cylindrica Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Cogon grass is a perennial rhizomatous grass native to Medit. to Africa and Afghanistan. It grows from 0.6-3 m tall. The leaves are about 2 cm wide near the base of the plant and narrow to a sharp point at the top; the margins are finely toothed and are embedded with sharp silica crystals. The main vein is a lighter colour than the rest of the leaf and tends to be nearer to one side of the leaf. The upper surface is hairy near the base of the plant while the underside is usually hairless. Roots are up to 1.2 meters deep, but 0.4 m is typical in sandy soil. Cogongrass flowers are borne in conspicuous cylindrical silky white spikes 1-16 in long and 0.25-1 in in diameter. Each individual flower spikelet has two stamens and two feathery stigmas and is attached to a fuzzy plume that later assists the wind-dispersed seed in drifting through the air. Cogon grass ranks number seven on the list of the world's worst weeds.
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