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Japanese Stiltgrass - Overview

Japanese Stiltgrass is an annual plant native to Japan, China, Korea and India. It was introduced to the United States in the early 1900’s, perhaps, via its use as a packing material for imported porcelain. One of its other two common names is Chinese packing grass; it is also know as Nepalese browntop. The first record is from Tennessee in 1919; it has spread to 15 eastern states including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Japanese Stiltgrass forms dense stands and is shade-tolerant; thus it displaces native species and threatens “edge” habitat as well as forests. It possesses characteristics typical of many invasive species: it grows quickly, fruits within a single season, produces abundant seed, and easily invades habitats that have been disturbed by natural (e.g., flood scouring) and anthropogenic (e.g., mowing, tilling) sources. The seed bank may be viable for up to seven years. M. vimineum may be responsible for altering the natural soil conditions, significantly increasing the pH of invaded soils.

Japanese Stiltgrass can be confused with a native perennial, Leersia virginica

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