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Day 299 of 365 Things To Do in Panama

Day 299 of 365 Things To Do in Panama. Enjoy the Elephant Grass!

Driving along the PanAmerican Highway you can see what looks like cream feathers swaying in the breeze. This is Elephant Grass or Canal Grass. The scientific name for Asian Elephant Grass is Saccharum spontaneum. "The first mention of Elephant Grass in Panama was in 1928 as part of a US Department of Agriculture collection. It is uncertain whether it was also “imported” from a passing ship or if the old U.S. Panama Canal administration brought the grass in as an experiment in controlling erosion", according to

As beautiful as it is, Elephant Grass is an invasive species that spreads rapidly and has destructive effects on the ecosystem by crowding out a lot of native plants and trees. Research and reforestation projects have been underway to control it.

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