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collage of Whitegrass and Japanese Stiltgrass

Whitegrass (Leersia virginica) vs. Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

Updated June 28th, 2024

These two species, one native and one invasive, are easily confused. They often are found together in moist, partly-shaded habitats, especially along paths. Both have a sprawling habit with branching stems that can root at nodes. Leersia virginica ranges farther west, north, and south, is more restricted to partly-shaded, moist to mesic conditions, and prefers habitats with only light to moderate disturbance levels, whereas Microstegium vimineum also ranges into slightly drier and sunnier conditions, and higher levels of disturbance, and can also occur in lawns.

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