Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Invasive - Japanese Chaff Flower, looking for information

We are tracking the distribution of a relatively new exotic plant, Japanese Chaff Flower (Achyranthes japonica) in the Eastern United States. So far it seems to be concentrated along the lower Ohio River Valley, but spots have also cropped up in TN, AL, and GA.
This plant grows well in forested bottomlands, but we’ve also seen it growing in ditches, fencerows, and upland forests. It is a perennial and appears to be able to form pretty dense populations that, in some areas, can even outcompete stiltgrass. It has seeds that will readily stick to clothing or fur, aiding in spread.
It is a unique-looking plant and pretty easy to identify. Here is a short species alert that we developed:
This time of year, you can easily identify the plant from the bright straw-color and the long spikes of seeds that lay flat against the spike.
I am very interested in knowing of any locations where this plant might be growing. If you are familiar with this plant and know of any locations (particularly new states or counties), please either let me know about it or enter them into the EDDMapS mapping system ( Here is a link to where we currently know it is located:
Thank you for the help,