Scientific Name: Microstegium vimineum

Common Name: Nepalese browntop

Other Common Names: Mary's grass, Japanese grass, Japanese stilt grass, nepalgrass

Synonyms: Andropogon vimineum, Eulalia viminea, Eulalia viminea var. variabilis, Microstegium vimineum

Habit: Japanese Stiltgrass occurs on stream banks, river bluffs, floodplains, emergent and forested wetlands, moist woodlands, early successional fields, uplands, thickets, roadside ditches, gas and power line corridors and home lawns and gardens. It appears to be associated primarily with moist, acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen. Plants are often found in moist shade or dry open areas. Plants germinate slightly before typical crabgrass germination (February in the deep south and April in the Transition Zone). Sporadic germination can continue at any time during the growing season. Plants die with cold temperatures in the fall.

Leaves: Its thin, pale green, lance-shaped, about 3 inches in length, alternate along a branched stalk and have a silvery stripe of reflective hairs down the middle of the upper leaf surface.

Identifying Characteristics: Stiltgrass readily invades disturbed shaded areas like floodplains that are prone to natural scouring, and areas subject to mowing, tilling and other soil disturbing activities.

Flower Seed Head: Seedheads are erect, thin, spike-like racemes. Delicate spikes of flowers emerge from slender tips beginning in September and continuing until Frost.

Seed Fruit: It spreads by seed and each plant can produce an estimated 100-1,000 seeds. Once established at a site, seed stored in the soil have been documented to persist for three to six years.

Where Found: Japanese stilt grass is currently established in sixteen eastern states, from New York to Florida. It is also found in Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia and India.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: hairs from base to tip

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: spike

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round