Officials need to know if you have one of the world's worst weeds in your yard

Cogongrass (Source: Clemson University Department of Plant Industry)

It's been called one of the 10 worst weeds in the world, and South Carolina officials are asking for help tracking it down.

The Clemson University Department of Plant Industry said Cogongrass is in bloom in the spring and is easier to identify than other times of the year.

The weed, which is native to Asia, Africa and Australia, kills plants that serve as food and shelter for the state's wildlife. It also is a fire hazard and can interfere with prescribed burns.

Clemson said Cogongrass has no known enemies so the Department of Plant Industry is charged with eradicating the weed.

“Nothing will eat Cogongrass, so it has no benefit whatsoever," said Sherry Aultman, the coordinator of Clemson's Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program.

Cogongrass has been identified in 13 of the 46 counties in South Carolina. It is difficult to kill since it spreads through small seeds and creeping rootstalks.

If you suspect you have Cogongrass, contact the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry at 864-646-2140 or via e-mail.

“It’s very difficult to destroy and attempts to do so can wind up spreading it further, so we ask that the public alert us to its presence so that we can effectively eliminate it," said environmental health manager Steve Compton.

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