Johnsongrass is a tall (up to 8 ft. [2.4 m]), rhizomatous, perennial grass that invades open areas throughout the United States. The 2 ft. (0.6 m) long, lanceolate leaves are arranged alternately along a stout, hairless, somewhat upward branching stem and have distinct, white midribs. Flowers occur in a loose, spreading, purplish panicle. Johnsongrass is adapted to a wide variety of habitats including open forests, old fields, ditches and wetlands. It spreads aggressively and can form dense colonies which displace native vegetation and restrict tree seedling establishment. Johnsongrass has naturalized throughout the world, but it is thought to be native to the Mediterranean region. It was first introduced into the United States in the early 1800s as a forage crop.
The seed is demulcent and duretic. A folk remedy for blood and urinary disorders.
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