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FLIP

FLIP: Florida Invasive Plants

Panicum repens

Common Name(s): Torpedograss, bullet grass, quack grass

Origin

Old World

Ecological Impact

In shallow waters, torpedograss can quickly displace native vegetation.  It is drought-tolerant and can grow on upland soils.  Growth is stimulated by tilling and fertilization (Langeland and Burks, 1998).  Listed as a Category I invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). 

Description

An exotic grass found in waterbodies that grows up to 3 feet tall.  It grows from underground rhizomes.  Aerial stems can be erect or leaning, with hairy upper leaf sheaths.  The leaves are small and often rolled inward.  Inflorescence is a terminal panicle with ascending branches. 

Identification Tips

Rhizomes have pointed, torpedo-like tips and hairs can be found on the blades.  Torpedograss may be confused with maidencane (Panicum hemitomon).  Compare the leaf hairs and the rhizomes. 

History

Introduced into the Gulf Coast of the United States before 1876.  Torpedograss seed was introduced to the south around 1926 and by 1950 was seen in almost every southern Florida county. (Langefield and Burks, 1998).

Florida Range

Found throughout  the state of Florida, including the keys.

Prevention/Management Strategies

Do not plant. 

Photos

Most photos courtesy of the Atlas of Florida Plants; click for additional plant details.

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Florida Invasive Plants