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Characteristics of Cogon Grass Rhizomes and its Perforation of a Maiden Cane Rhizome

Author(s): J.J. Muchovej | O.U. Onokpise | S.K. Bambo

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 314;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Cogon grass | rhizome | spear grass | competition

Cogon grass (Imperata cylindrical) is one of the most aggressive grasses world wide and spreads by an extensive rhizome system. This study adds observational detail to growth of cogon grass rhizomes and provides for a mechanism by which cogon grass is able to perforate other species of plants. During a competition study between I. cylindrica and native grasses, where the plants were grown in 30 cm pots, under greenhouse conditions, the underground systems were harvested by removing the root ball from the pot, then removing the potting mixture in order to un-potted for determination of length and weight of rhizomes and roots. In one pot, a unique situation was observed where a rhizome of cogon grass had perforated and traversed a rhizome of maiden cane. Aside from the physical damage, the rhizome of the maiden cane did not appear to be diseased. This study describes the rhizomes of the two plants and documents penetration. While cogon grass can penetrate other below ground parts of other species of plants, it does not appear to provide for major damage.
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