The weedy grass junglerice is one that is becoming more and more invasive in the United States. Known additionally by its Latin name, Echinochloa colona, junglerice is becoming more prevalent in the warmer, more tropical southern states and has been classified by Florida as an invasive weed. It falls into the category of barnyard grasses, which means that it is a member of a broader genus of grasses including millet and other edible rices. When they are not grown intentionally, they have the potential to be detrimental to fields and crops.
Appearance of Junglerice
This weed can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet long. The plant itself is extremely variable from one plant to the next, but there is a common factor among them–purple bands that run perpendicular to the length of the leaves. The leaves themselves are long and flat–up to 8 inches long in all. Stems are thick and hairless, except at the nodes. Flowers on the weed bloom from July through October, with flower heads growing up to 6 inches long and possessing short but compact branches.
Junglerice is found in areas with hot, wet summers, particularly affecting the southernmost states. Crop fields that are irrigated during the summer months are a common place to find the pervasive weed, as well as along the banks of ponds or water sources, pastures, orchards, vineyards, and any disturbed moist soil where the weed can take root.
It has the capacity to reduce rice crop yields by more than 85% if left unmanaged. Junglerice also has the ability to take over cornfields and other agricultural areas where crops are grown. It poses a serious danger to corn in that it has become resistant to some types of chemical herbicides and has had detrimental effects on corn crops in some of the southernmost states.
The best way to keep junglerice at bay is to keep an eye on your lawn and to scout fields and agricultural areas throughout the entire growing season. Using varying methods and professional weed control applications at strategic times will help to prevent junglerice from having a significant impact on plant and crop yields.