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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




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

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (27 November 2015)

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