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Rice-cut Grass - Leersia hexandra
Family: Poaceae

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Description

Leersia hexandra is a perennial species that often grows in dense mats and produces rhizomes and leafy stolons. It grows up to about 1 m tall but is often decumbent and roots from the lower nodes. Short, dense hairs encircle the nodes of the stem. Leaves are 15 to 18 cm long and 3 to 6 mm wide. Leaf margins are finely but sharply toothed. The ligule is membraneous and forms a scale-like collar. The inflorescence is a narrow panicle with mostly ascending branches. Spikelets are flattened, 4 to 5 mm long, about 1 mm wide, and often purplish brown.

Interesting facts

Cutgrass grows along the margins of marshes, streams, ponds, lakes, swamps, ditches, and canals. Leersia hexandra sometimes forms floating islands and can grow in water up to 1.8 m deep (Godfrey and Wooten 1979). It spreads vegetatively by rhizomes and stolons and can also reproduce from seed.

Dense mats along shorelines and in shallow water areas can restrict access and hinder recreational activities. The plant also can be a weed in ricefields and slow flow in irrigation canals. Hoyer et al. (1996) note that floating islands of L. hexandra provide cover for small fish and serve as resting and feeding sites for wading birds.

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Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers


Rice-cut Grass Video


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