Imperata Sets Seed in Minnesota

Blood grass does not usually flower. But this past June 2011, it flowered in Noerenberg Gardens, part of Three Rivers Parks, on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Only 8 inflorescences were found, on June 27, they were collected and finally I cleaned the heads to look for seed. Imperata ‘Red Baron’ set seed in Minnesota.  7 out of 8 inflorescences had seed, 5 had less than 10 seed, one had 17 and one had at least 80 seed. Not good news, but maybe the seed are not viable? Will try to germinate the seed. The green form of Imperata is one of the world’s worst weeds. The controversy continues on the red form, as shown here:

Imperata has showy red foliage, but may be invasive in much of the US.

About grasstalk

University of Minnesota Professor and Extension Horticulturist
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2 Responses to Imperata Sets Seed in Minnesota

  1. grasser says:

    Did any of the seeds ever germinate?

    • grasstalk says:

      Yes, the seed were viable as confirmed by lab tests but we did not plant the seeds and grow them out in a greenhouse. Noerenberg has eliminated these plants from their garden. We have one Imperata ‘Red Baron’ at the Arboretum Grass Collection, but it has never flowered.

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