Monday, May 21, 2012

Start looking for Japanese Stiltgrass

Early Summer Stiltgrass Infestation
 Now that garlic mustard season is slowing down and turkey and morel hunting has came to an end, it is time for landowners to start looking for Japanese stiltgrass.  This relatively new species may not be on many landowner's radar yet.  While it has been in southern Illinois since the late 1960s, only in the last 15 or so years has it really started to spread wide.  The recent ice and wind storms we've had is only helping this plant take hold in our forests.

Japanese stiltgrass is a serious invader of bottomland and other moist woodlands but can also grow in drier areas.  Keep an eye out for this plant starting to invade along roads, trails, deer paths, streamsides, and fire breaks.  This is an annual plant that produces a lot of seed, so it is important to find and control it before it flowers and reproduces for the year (usually late August to early September). 

Look for patches of a wiry grass with short, wide leaves.  More information on Japanse stiltgrass, including identification tips and control recommendations can be found on the River to River CWMA's 'Species of Concern' page:

Also, the River to River CWMA organized a conference on Japanese Stiltgrass in 2010 and all of the presentations, along with a summary white paper, are available at: