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Sugar Cane Directory


Agriculture Extension



Paragrass, Urochloa mutica (Panicum purpurascens, Brachiaria purpurascens)

Paragrass, which is often referred to as known as ‘maiden cane’ in South Florida, is native to Africa . It is a perennial that grows best in moist to wet disturbed and cultivated areas. It is most common in ditches, but often moves into cultivated areas from infested ditch banks.


It has a perennial (clumping) growth habit with stems that bends and form roots at the lower joints. When growing in the open the stems can reach 3 feet tall and when leaning through other vegetation, stems can be over 12 feet long. Stems are round in section. Joints are very hairy. Leaf blades are flat, smooth, 3/8 to 5/8 inch wide and 4 to 12 inches long. Leaf sheaths are hairy with pustule-based hairs. Seedheads have 8 to 20 branches that have an erect “signal flag” appearance. Flowers and seeds are located on the lower side of the branches, and the seeds are wrinkled.

Figure 1. Paragrass on the edge of a field. This species is typically found growing out of ditches into field edges. Figure 2. Close-up of stem joint, showing the dense hairs typical of paragrass.

Control in sugarcane:

Paragrass is best controlled in sugarcane by spot treating with glyphosate.


Contact Us


Matthew VanWeelden
Extension Agent
Sugarcane, Rice, Sod
2976 State Road 15
Belle Glade, FL 33430