Japanese Stiltgrass

Microstegium vimineum

 

 

Description: This sprawling annual grass can grow 0.5 to 3 feet in height. Japanese stiltgrass has flat and short leaves with off-center veins.  

 

Ecological Threat:  Because this grass is adapted to low light conditions, it can threaten native plants in shady areas.  Japanese stiltgrass easily spreads to form extensive patches which displace the native species.  Herbivores such as white-tailed deer prefer native grasses, thus facilitating the spread of this invasive. 

 

Biology & Spread: This grass is colonial and is spread by rooting at stem nodes.  Japanese stiltgrass reproduces exclusively by seed.  One plant has the potential to produce 100 to 1,000 seeds that can fall close to the parent plant, be easily spread by water, moved in contaminated hay or soil, or be carried on footwear. The seeds of stilt grass can be viable in soil for over five years. 

 

Threat in Oklahoma: This plant flourishes in shaded areas, is flood tolerant, and can grow on roadsides and forest edges. This invasive has prolific seeding.  This combination of tolerance and high reproductive potential makes this grass highly invasive.

Image Credit: James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org - See more at: http://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=0016158#sthash.mcJwikdx.dpuf

 

References:

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States

Texas Invasives

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

USDA PLANTS Database

Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

 

OK Invasives is the informational and citizen science project website for the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council and their partners.

 

Email : okipc@ou.edu

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