japanese Stilt Grass
Japanese stilt grass has spread throughout the southeast and is found all over North Carolina. It is shade-tolerant and can grow in full sunlight, so it is found in forests, lawns, along roads, especially in floodplains. Once introduced to an area (dispersal via animals, water, and people), it forms monotypic stands within a few years.
The grass grows 2 - 3' in height, with long, alternating lance-shaped leaves (1 - 3") with off-center midribs. The stalks are distinguished by nodes. Flowers are placed on spikes which grow from leaf axils and from the apex of the grass stem.
Fact Sheet: Japanese Stilt Grass
Photo credits: Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org; seedhead photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org