Scientific Name: Leersia virginica

Common Name: whitegrass

Other Common Names: whitegrass, white grass, Virginia cutgrass, virginian cutgrass, white cutgrass, leersie de virginie

Identifying Characteristics: Grass Family (Poaceae) Whitegrass is a perennial grass that is native to eastern North America. It is 1 to 3 feet tall, branching occasionally; it is erect to spawling and flowers from July to October. Whitegrass is a good example of the kinds of grasses that grow in wooded areas. Such grasses usually have delicate tintextured foliage and their panicles or racemes are slender and lanky with small spikelets. As a general rule, they are not very showy. Whitegrass is fairly easy to identify because its spikelets are appressed together to form a single row along the upper half of each branchlet. Each spikelet is single-flowered, oblongoid, and often ciliate along the margins of its lemma. Each floret of whitegrass produces only 2 anthers; this is unusual, because most grasses produce 3 anthers per floret. It is easily confused with the non-native and invasive Japanese stilt grass (<a href='../../weedimg/649'><a href='../../weedimg/649'> Microstegium vimineum</a></a>). Whitegrass may be distinguished from Japanese stilt grass by its lack of a prominent shiny leaf midvein. It has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate

Where Found: Whitegrass is typically found in partially shaded low-lying wet areas

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Hair surface: hairs on basal half only; no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: 1-2 mm; less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: less than 5 mm; 6 to 15 mm