Johnsongrass

Sorghum halepense

 

 

Description: This invasive is a perennial grass with rhizomes that grows up to 2 meters tall. This coarse grass is considered a highly noxious weed globally. 

 

Ecological Threat: This is a rapid growing grass that is competitive with crops.  Johnsongrass can be difficult to control and can greatly reduce harvest yields. When stressed by drought, frost, or trampling this grass can produce toxic amounts of hydrocyanic acid.  Under these conditions Johnsongrass can be poisonous to livestock upon digestion. 

 

Biology & Spread: Water, wind, and animals can disperse seeds. Tightly enclosed seeds can survive decomposition in the soil for several years.  These plants photosynthesize via the C4 pathway

 

Threat in Oklahoma: This plant poses a threat to crop harvests and displaces native flora. 

ManagementWeed Control on Rangelands

Image Credit: Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org - See more at: http://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=0581065#sthash.jwM89qxi.dpuf

 

References:

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States

Texas Invasives

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

USDA PLANTS Database

Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System