Native to South America, but now spread throughout all of Latin America, the West Indies, Hawaii, and the southeastern U.S.
A warm season perennial that reproduces by both seeds and rhizomes. It grows quickly to form thick mats over the soil and is extremely invasive outside of landscaped areas, or areas of roadside or pasture where it may be planted as a low maintenance turf.
Mature growth is mat-forming, with tall stems with terminal seed heads growing above the vegetation. Leaves are somewhat folded and generally smooth on both upper and lower surfaces. A short ligule is present at the base of the leaf, and the bases of the stems are often reddish to violet in color.
The seed heads grow as upright spikes, terminating with 2, or rarely 3 branches, typically forming a distinct “V”. The flowers form 2 rows along the branch on the lower side.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Herbicide control with a systemic material is usually needed, to ensure the extensive roots and rhizomes are killed.