Japanese Stiltgrass Microstegium vimineum (Trinus) A. CamusNon-native  -  Invasive    Synonyms: Eulalia viminea, Eulalia viminea var. variabilis, Nepalese Browntop.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Poales   >   Family Poaceae   >   Genus Microstegium   

Status:

Japanese Stiltgrass is a highly aggressive, non-native invader, found throughout Maryland. "It readily invades disturbed shaded areas, like floodplains that are prone to natural scouring, and areas subject to mowing, tilling and other soil-disturbing activities including white-tailed deer traffic. It spreads opportunistically following disturbance to form dense patches, displacing native wetland and forest vegetation as the patch expands" (Swearingen, et al., 2010). The ecological havoc it can wreak is demonstrated by its rapid takeover of pristine forest environments that have undergone disturbance. For example, stream restoration projects that have been conducted in small-order, interior forest streams often turn the affected area into a monoculture of stiltgrass. A presentation by Rod Simmons (2017) showed the effects of a stream restoration project at Bear Branch, a small, spring-fed seepage stream in upper Prince George’s County, MD. Rod’s presentation also showed how a different kind of disturbance - deer and human traffic - led to the near-total replacement of a once-diverse forest floor community by Japanese Stiltgrass at the Gold Mine Tract, a part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Montgomery County.

Description:

Japanese Stiltgrass is an annual that flowers in late summer or fall. It often goes unnoticed early in the growing season, after seed germination and initial growth of the young plants, but as the plants gain height later in the summer, they become much more noticeable. By then, the plants are already setting seed and are very hard to eradicate before the seeds are dispersed. The native White Grass (Leersia virginica) is often confused with stiltgrass. The two species can be differentiated by two major features: The midrib of the leaves of Japanese Stiltgrass is pale and shiny on its upper surface, whereas White Grass midribs lack this feature; and White Grass has hairy nodes in contrast to the glabrous nodes of Japanese Stiltgrass. White Grass and Japanese Stiltgrass often grow together, so care needs to be taken when activating control measures.

Relationships:

Northern Pearly-eye has adapted to using this species as a larval host.

There are 315 records in the project database.

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Japanese Stiltgrass in Baltimore Co., Maryland (8/8/2014). Photo by Brandon Woo. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Washington Co., Maryland (8/29/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Kent Co., Maryland (5/29/2016). Photo by Walter Ellison. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Kent Co., Maryland (6/7/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Calvert Co., Maryland (10/20/2016). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/18/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Prince George's Co., Maryland (8/30/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/12/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Caroline Co., Maryland (8/10/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Caroline Co., Maryland (7/24/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

A bed of Japanese Stiltgrass in Kent Co., Maryland (9/18/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Allegany Co., Maryland (7/12/2015). Photo by Kimberly Booth. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass in Frederick Co., Maryland (6/25/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass growing in Howard Co., Maryland (8/13/2016). Photo by Derek Hudgins. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass growing in Kent Co., Maryland (7/16/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Japanese Stiltgrass and Garlic Mustard in Washington Co., Maryland (7/5/2016). Photo by Derek Hudgins. (MBP list)


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