Cogon Grass infestation in our neighborhood-Why YOU should care
Posted on Jul 18th, 2019
A few weeks ago our Board of Directors were walking neighborhood property with members of the Florida Forest Service and examining pine trees for pine beetle infestation when the Forest Service noticed an infestation of Cogon Grass. The Foresters immediately became very concerned and adamantly recommended doing whatever it takes to eradicate it as quickly as possible.
Cogon grass is an invasive, non-native plant that is considered a pest in 73 countries and one of the “Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World.” It is extremely difficult to control once established, and the longer treatment is delayed the more expensive treatment becomes. Left untreated, it will increase fire hazard, kill pine trees, decrease native plant and wildlife habitat and continue to spread, ultimately decreasing the value of real estate. (Reference: Florida Department of Agriculture and the Florida Forest Service Websites https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/Forest-Health/Invasive-Non-Native-Plants/Cogon-Grass)
Over the next several weeks, our HOA Board will be working with the Florida Forestry service to formulate a plan to treat and eradicate Cogon Grass from the community areas. Each homeowner is asked to inspect their property for Cogon Grass—together we can beat this pest!
IDENTIFYING COGON GRASS
Cogon grass is a tall (2-5 ft.) perennial grass with bright yellowy-green foliage. The leaf blades are 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide with a mid-vein which is clearly offset to one side, and serrated (toothed) edges. The rhizomes are hard, scaly, and cream-colored with sharply pointed tips. The seed head is fuzzy, white, and plume-like. Cogon grass grows in loose to compact bunches, each ‘bunch’ containing several leaves arising from a central area along a rhizome. The leaves originate directly from ground level and range from one to four feet in length.