Andropogon virginicus L.

This perennial bunchgrass sometimes forms continuous cover in boggy, open mesic and dry habitats. It releases highly persistent allelopathic substances (Rice 1972). The dead material provides an excellent fuel for fires. It is fire-stimulated; its cover increases dramatically with each fire (Smith, Parman, and Wampler 1980). In areas where it occurs, both fire intensities and acreage burnt have increased. Because it retains the phenology of its native habitat, the southeastern United States, its growth is out of synchrony with Hawai'i's climatic pattern (Sorensen 1980). It is dormant during the rainy season, which Mueller-Dombois (1973) has shown leads to increased erosion in some areas. The seeds are dispersed by wind. The potential for biological control has been discussed by Gardner and Davis (1982), but attempts to evaluate possible agents in Hawai'i probably will be resisted by the sugar industry.

It is widely distributed from sea level to at least 1,600 m on all major islands. Major infestations occur on the windward plain and Pupukea areas of O'ahu, overgrazed ridges in East Moloka'i, and the Puna and Ka'u regions of Hawai'i.

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