Japanese chaff flower, Achyranthes japonica, is a new invader to southern Illinois. It has mostly been restricted to forestlands ajacent to the Ohio River, but several recent finds indicate that it is moving inland. Just last week, three different infestations were found in Johnson County on state lands. These new locations may have been started by hikers unintentionally moving seeds around.
Because chaff flower seeds can readily stick to clothing, hair, and animal fur, it is important that anyone hiking, hunting, or otherwise being in the forests in southern Illinois take the time to clean off and remove seeds from their clothing and mud and dirt from their shoes before and after going into the woods. This simple step can have a real impact on slowing the spread of invasive plants.
To view the distribution of chaff flower, and other invasive plants, in southern Illinois, view the River to River's distribution mapping webpage at: http://www.rtrcwma.org/distribution/index.html