Evaluation of chemical control methods of fountain grass.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) is a common ornamental grass because of its glossy foliage and showy inflorescence. However, there have been reports of populations growing outside of cultivation and demonstrating invasive tendencies. There is limited research of the chemical control of fountain grass in natural areas. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the impact of glyphosate, sethoxydim, and fluazifop on fountain grass. Treatments consisted of 2250 and 4500 g.ha-1 glyphosate, 262.5 and 525 g.ha-1 sethoxydim, and 200 and 400 g.ha-1 fluazifop; a nontreated control group was also included. The percent herbicide injury was determined visually 1, 3, 4, 6, and 10 weeks after treatment (WAT). Both rates of glyphosate resulted in 100% of the foliage injured by 3 WAT. The application of flauzifop and sethoxydim led to intermediate results ranging from 15% to 23% injury by 6 WAT, with no significant difference between active ingredients or rates. Nontreated control plants exhibited little to no injury throughout the study. Flauzifop, sethoxydim, and glyphosate all caused visible injury to fountain grass. For complete, fast-acting control, glyphosate is recommended. Herbicide control coupled with restorative plantings of native plants can help reduce invasive plant pressure and improve biodiversity of natural areas.