We Don’t Have Enough Weeds

So let’s add one more: Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

By Barbara Shepherd, Fairfax Master Gardener
About two years ago, I started seeing some different looking grass in my lawn. Perennials, not lawn, are my priority, so I probably wouldn’t have noticed, except this grass was light green and looked like very low growing bamboo. I immediately thought the stand of bamboo I had been working for years to banish from one edge of my property had found its way to the other side. But I soon learned this new invasion was NOT bamboo, but Japanese stiltgrass, a totally new weed to me.

Read on if you want the scoop on Japanese stiltgrass; the probability is good that you will find this nasty invader in your lawn or ornamental areas. In fact, Dr. Shawn Askew, top lawn weed expert at Virginia Tech says Japanese stiltgrass has been the number one plant submitted to the Virginia Weed Identification Clinic for the past 8 years. So count yourself lucky if it hasn’t found you yet, but be vigilant.

What, where, when?

Microstegium vimineum (also known by common names of Japanese stiltgrass, Nepalese browntop, Asian stilt grass, bamboograss, eulalia, and more) is an annual summer grass that spreads rapidly, especially into areas where the soil has been disturbed, but it invades undisturbed areas as well. The plentiful seeds it produces are light and able to floa