Missourians Making a Difference

Invasive to Watch This Month

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) is an annual grass native to eastern and central Asia. This invasive grass grows in moist, disturbed areas including stream banks, river bluffs, floodplains, forest wetlands, moist woodlands, old fields, uplands, thickets, roadside ditches, and utility rights-of-way. Growing to about 3.5 feet tall, it has alternate, thin, pale-green, lance-shaped, 3-inch long leaves. It has a distinct silvery stripe of reflective hairs running down the center of the upper leaf surface. Flower spikes form at the slender stem tips in late August through early October. Japanese stiltgrass occurs in a wide variety of habitats, tolerates shade, and seems to prefer acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen.

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