Wavyleaf basketgrass has hairy stems and wavy leaves. Photo Credit: Kerrie L. Hyde, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org.
COMMON NAME:Wavyleaf Basketgrass
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. undulatifolius
ORIGIN:Asia and Europe
DESCRIPTION:Wavyleaf basketgrass is a perennial grass with a distinctly hairy stem and leaf sheath. The deep green leaves are characteristically wavy and grow to about 1 inch wide and up to 4 inches long. The plant produces small, wispy flowers at the ends of its branches in the fall. Its seeds grow in 3-5 pairs of spikelets with long awns (pointed tips) that produce a sticky substance to aid in dispersal.
HABITAT:This species is shade tolerant and prefers shaded to partly shaded understory deciduous habitats with moist soils. Wavyleaf basketgrass grows in similar areas as Japanese stilgrass (link to IS Profile) and has been found to grow beneath the stiltgrass.
THREAT:Wavyleaf basketgrass quickly spreads to completely cover the forest floor. This can displace native plants and suppress the growth of shrub and tree seedlings.
Hand-pulling can be effective for small populations and should be done prior to flowering. Wavyleaf basketgrass is susceptible to herbicides including glyphosate and grass-specific products. This is the preferred method of removal for larger populations where hand-pulling is not feasible. All management will need to be repeated for several years to deplete the seedbank.
WNY PRISM PRIORITY:
Tier 1 - Raise Awareness
Wavyleaf Basketgrass is a prohibited species in New York State - for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99141.html.
NYS Prohibited and Regulated Species - Part 575:
PATHWAYS OF INVASION:
Wavyleaf basketgrass was first found in North America in Maryland in 1996, likely the result of contaminated nursery stock. Seeds are sticky and can be transported on clothing, hiking gear and animals. Care should be taken to avoid brushing up against this plant while in seed. Plants also spread through rhizomes.
Wavyleaf Basketgrass is not currently found in the WNY PRISM region but is in southern Pennsylvania.