johnsongrass USDA PLANTS Symbol: SOHA
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Grass or Grasslike
Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Cyperales: Poaceae
Native Range: Africa, Asia ()

Johnsongrass is a tall (up to 8 ft. [2.4 m]), rhizomatous, perennial grass that invades open areas throughout the United States. The 2 ft. (0.6 m) long, lanceolate leaves are arranged alternately along a stout, hairless, somewhat upward branching stem and have distinct, white midribs. Flowers occur in a loose, spreading, purplish panicle. Johnsongrass is adapted to a wide variety of habitats including open forests, old fields, ditches and wetlands. It spreads aggressively and can form dense colonies which displace native vegetation and restrict tree seedling establishment. Johnsongrass has naturalized throughout the world, but it is thought to be native to the Mediterranean region. It was first introduced into the United States in the early 1800s as a forage crop.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Flower(s);
Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); July. Photo from Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press in cooperation with the Southern Weed Science Society.
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Spikelet(s); Ventral view of spikelets with pedicel and rachis segment
Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Barry Fitzgerald, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Root(s); Roots
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Ligule
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Rhizome / Stolon; Rhizomes
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Leaf collar region
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Invasive plants complicate roadise begetation management programs, create safety hazards by obscuring visibility and increasing the intensity of roadsidefires, and provide seed sources for infestation of adjacent fields.
Bonnie Harper-Lore, Federal Highway Administration, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Ligule
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s); Stem
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Large infestation in September
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 121.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washington, DC.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Virginia)
Booker T Washington National Monument (Virginia)
Chiricahua National Monument (Arizona)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Death Valley National Park (California)
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (Virginia)
George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virginia)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina & Tennessee)
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (Texas)
Monocacy National Battlefield Park (Maryland)
Organ Pipe National Monument (Arizona)
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Richmond National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 2004
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Missouri Department of Conservation,
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Hawaiian Alien Plant Studies, 1998
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009