Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus (Japanese stiltgrass )

 


David J. Moorhead,
The University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Family: Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Andropogon vimineum, Eulalia viminea, Eulalia viminea var. variabilis, Microstegium vimineum var. imberbe

Duration: Annual

Habit: Grass/Grasslike


Listed by:
Invasive Plant Atlas of the US: 1
Federal Noxious Weed: 0
TDA Noxious Weed: 0
TPWD Prohibited Exotic Species: 0

Description: Sprawling, annual grass, 0.5 to 3 feet (15 to 90 cm) in height. Flat short leaf blades, with off-center veins. Stems branching near the base and rooting at nodes to form dense and extensive infestations. Dried whitish-tan grass remains standing in winter.

History: Native to temperate and tropical Asia, and first identified near Knoxville, TN, around 1919. Ground cover with little wildlife food value. Likely escaped as a result of its use as a packing material for porcelain.

Biology & Spread: Japanese stilt grass is a colonial species that spreads by rooting at stem nodes that touch the ground. Stilt grass reproduces exclusively by seed. Individual plants may produce 100 to 1,000 seeds that fall close to the parent plant. Seed may be carried further by water currents during heavy rains or moved in contaminated hay, soil, or potted plants, and on footwear. Stilt grass seed remains viable in the soil for five or more years and germinates readily.

Ecological Threat: Japanese stilt grass is especially well adapted to low light conditions. It threatens native plants and natural habitats in open to shady, and moist to dry locations. Stilt grass spreads to form extensive patches, displacing native species that are not able to compete with it. Where white-tail deer are over-abundant, they may facilitate its invasion by feeding on native plant species and avoiding stilt grass.

US Habitat: Flourishes on alluvial floodplains and streamsides, mostly colonizing flood-scoured banks, due to water dispersal of seed and flood tolerance. Also common at forest edges, roadsides, and trailsides, as well as damp fields, swamps, lawns, and along ditches. Occurs up to 4,000 feet (1200 m) elevation. Very shade tolerant. Consolidates occupation by prolific seeding, with each plant producing 100 to 1,000 seeds that can remain viable in the soil for 5 or more years. Spreads on trails and recreational areas by seeds hitchhiking on hikers? and visitors? shoes and clothes.

Distribution

US Nativity: Introduced to U.S.

Native Origin: Asia; temp. & trop. Asia (Germplasm Resources Information Network); NatureServe Explorer

US States: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Resembles/Alternatives:

Management: A variety of control methods are available for stilt grass, depending on the extent of the infestation, the type of habitat, and the availability of labor and other resources. Preventing the introduction of stilt grass into non-infested areas and out of infested areas should be a priority. Early control of new infestations will also reduce the likelihood of establishment.

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.

Listing Source

Texas Department ofAgriculture Noxious Plant List
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Prohibited Exotic Species
Invaders Program
Federal Noxious Weed
Union of Concerned Scientists
United States Forest Service Southern Research Station

Text References

Trees of Central Texas, Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country, Nonnative Invasive Plants of Sourthern Forests

Data Source

APWG WeedUS Database

Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp (USDA SRS).

Last Updated: 2007-11-08 by EEE