USDA ARS United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)

  GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
Jump to common names  Jump to economic impacts  Jump to distribution  Jump to references  Jump to synonyms  Jump to links to other online resources  Jump to images

***Please tell us why you value GRIN Taxonomy***

Taxon: Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.

Genus: Imperata
Family: Poaceae (alt. Gramineae) subfamily: Panicoideae tribe: Andropogoneae.
Nomen number: 19864
Place of publication: Ess. Agrostogr. 8, 165, 177, t. 5, fig. 1. 1812 (E. A. Raeuschel, Nomencl. bot. 10. 1797, nom. nud.)
  • Raeuschel gives no evidence his I. cylindrica, nom. nud. is based on Lagurus cylindricus L.
  • his adoption of Imperata whose only prior species included L. cylindricus in synonymy isn't enough (Melbourne ICN Art. 41.4)
Name verified on: 15-Jul-1999 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 06-Sep-2013
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9).


A declared noxious weed by USDA-APHIS.
A declared aquatic or terrestrial noxious weed and/or noxious-weed seed in these U.S. states (see state noxious weed lists), with links to state information or web documents:
AL*, AR*, FL*, HI*°, MS*, NC*, PR*, TN*.
ªAquatic. *Terrestrial. °In seed.
noxious weed information from Invaders Database System for northwestern U.S.
Link to species profile at National Invasive Species Information Center

Common names:

  • alang-alang   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English
  • blady grass   (Source: Genet Res Comm 21:2.) – English
  • cogon   (Source: Websters Dict ) – English
  • cogongrass   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • cotton-wool grass   (Source: Grass SAfr ) – English
  • imperata   (Source: Herbs Commerce ed2 ) – English
  • Japanese blood grass   (Source: Dict Gard ) – English
  • kunai grass   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • kura-kura   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • halfa   (Source: F Egypt ) – Arabic
  • shishmallah   (Source: Weeds Saudi Arabia ) – Arabic
  • bai mao   (Source: Herbs Commerce ed2 ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • impérate   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • chi-gaya   (Source: Grass Japan ) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • fushige-chi-gaya   (Source: Dict Gard ) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • lalang   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Malay
  • caminhadora   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • sapé   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • bomullsgräs   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:

  • Environmental: erosion control   (fide Pl Res SEAs 4:140-142. 1992)
  • Environmental: ornamental   (fide Dict Gard)
  • Animal food: potential as forage   (fide Pl Res SEAs 4:140-142. 1992)
  • Gene sources: tertiary genetic relative of sugarcane   (fide Bot Gaz 118:154-155. 1957, citing a 1938 cross that resulted in a 2n+n hybrid)
  • Medicines: folklore   (fide Pl Res SEAs 12(1):310. 1999; Herbs Commerce ed2, as I. cylindrica var. major)
  • Weed: potential seed contaminant   (fide Weed CIBA; Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional range:

    Macaronesia: Portugal - Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    Northern Africa: Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia
    Northeast Tropical Africa: Chad; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Sudan
    East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda
    West-Central Tropical Africa: Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Gabon; Rwanda; Zaire
    West Tropical Africa: Benin; Burkina Faso; Cote D'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo
    South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: Botswana; Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa - Cape Province, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Transvaal; Swaziland
    Arabian Peninsula: Oman; Saudi Arabia; Yemen
    Western Asia: Afghanistan; Cyprus; Egypt - Sinai; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey
    Caucasus: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation - Dagestan
    Middle Asia: Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
    China: China
    Eastern Asia: Japan - Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku; Korea
    Indian Subcontinent: Bhutan; India; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
    Indo-China: Cambodia; Laos; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
    Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines
    Australia: Australia - New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia [n.e.]
    Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Croatia; Greece [incl. Crete]; Italy [incl. Sardinia, Sicily]; Slovenia
    Southwestern Europe: France [s. & Corsica]; Portugal; Spain [incl. Baleares]

      Naturalized: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Macaronesia: Cape Verde
    Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar; Seychelles
    Indo-China: Thailand
    Malesia: Papua New Guinea
    Australia: Australia - Lord Howe Island
    New Zealand: New Zealand
    United States
    North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
    Northwestern Pacific: Guam; Micronesia; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau
    Southwestern Pacific: American Samoa; Vanuatu
    Caribbean: West Indies
    Mesoamerica: Central America
    Western South America: Colombia
    Southern South America: Chile
    South America

  • also cultivated


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).
  • 't Mannetje, L. & R. M. Jones, eds. 1992. Forages. 4:140–142 In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 4:140–142. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Abbiw, D. K. 1990. Useful plants of Ghana.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Bor, N. L. 1960. The grasses of Burma, Ceylon, India, and Pakistan. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Boulos, L. 1999–. Flora of Egypt.
  • CIBA-GEIGY, Basel, Switzerland. Documenta CIBA-GEIGY (Grass weeds 1. 1980, 2. 1981; Monocot weeds 3. 1982; Dicot weeds 1. 1988)
  • Cameron, A. G. et al. 1995. Performance of forages introduced into Kalimantan, Indonesia, by the South-East Asian Forage Seeds Project. Genet. Res. Commun. 21:2.
  • Chaudhary, S. A. 1987. Weeds of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. Australian plant census (APC) (on-line resource).
  • Davis, P. H., ed. 1965–1988. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource).
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. 1960–. Flora zambesiaca. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • FNA Editorial Committee. 1993–. Flora of North America.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource).
  • George, A. S., ed. 1980–. Flora of Australia.
  • Ghazanfar, S. A. 1992. An annotated catalogue of the vascular plants of Oman. Scripta Botanica Belgica 2.
  • Gibbs-Russell, G. E. et al. 1990. Grasses of southern Africa. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa vol. 58. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Grierson, A. J. C. & D. J. Long. 1984–. Flora of Bhutan including a record of plants from Sikkim. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Hansen, A. & P. Sunding. 1993. Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants, ed. 4. Sommerfeltia vol. 17.
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards. 1989–. Flora of Ethiopia. (and Eritrea. 2000) [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Hitchcock, A. S. 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States, ed. 2. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Holm, L. et al. 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds.
  • Holttum, R. E. et al. 1953–1971. A revised flora of Malaya. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening.
  • Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER): plant threats to Pacific ecosystems (on-line resource).
  • Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS). Australian plant common name database (on-line resource).
  • Izquierdo Z., I. et al., eds. 2004. Lista de especies silvestres de Canarias: hongos, plantas y animales terrestres.
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953–1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Koyama, T. 1987. Grasses of Japan and its neighboring regions. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Lazarides, M. 1980. The tropical grasses of Southeast Asia. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Mouterde, P. 1966–. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of [West] Pakistan. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Padua, L. S. de et al., eds. 1999. Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. 12(1):310 In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 12(1):310.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Price, S. 1957. Cytological studies in Saccharum and allied genera. III. Chromosome numbers in interspecific hybrids. Bot. Gaz. 118:146–159.
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. 1963–. Flora iranica. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S.D.A. 1999. State noxious-weed seed requirements recognized in the administration of the Federal Seed Act.
  • Shukla, U. 1996. Grasses of north-eastern India. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Soerjani, M. et al., eds. 1987. Weeds of rice in Indonesia. 434.
  • Sreekumar, P. V. & V. J. Nair. 1991. Flora of Kerala - grasses. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest. 1966–. Flora of Iraq. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. 1964–1980. Flora europaea. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Tzvelev, N. N. 1976. Zlaki SSSR. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.].
  • USDA National Agricultural Library. National Invasive Species Information Center (on-line resource).
  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds.
  • Wood, J. R. I. 1997. A handbook of the flora of Yemen. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition). [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Zon, A. P. M. van der. 1992. Graminées du Cameroun. [lists as I. cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.].
  • Webster's third new international dictionary.


Check other web resources for Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.:


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

| USDA | ARS | GRIN | NPGS | New Search |

Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (24 July 2014)

Please send us your comments

Close Window

Ctrl P to print