Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Japanese stiltgrass Alert!

A population of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was recently discovered in DuPage County in Northeast Illinois. This plant is considered one of the most aggressive invaders in the forests of southern Illinois, and is known to occur across the southern edge of the Midwest . Fortunately, steps are being taken to control this population. This population, along with the discovery of populations in Will County in 2011 and in McHenry County in 2012, indicates that stiltgrass has the potential to establish anywhere in Illinois.

This species spreads quickly and is likely to show up in high-use areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads, etc. Finding and controlling any new populations before they become well established is crucial to management. Please keep a look out for this species in the region or natural area where you work. If you find a suspect population, please report it. There are many people and programs available to help you with verification of ID and control strategies. If you are in NE Illinois, you can report populations to the New Invaders Watch Program at For areas outside of NE Illinois, you can report infestations to Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan Invasive Species Campaign Coordinator at See the updated alert flyer for more information on identifying stiltgrass and reporting new infestations at To learn about current management strategies, life history traits, and current research on stiltgrass, please go to the 2010 Stiltgrass Summit website at and also have a look at the stiltgrass identification guide

Please send this information on to coworkers, contractors, volunteers, forest landowners, and anyone else who would be interested in learning about this new invader.

Thank you,

Christopher Evans
Illinois Wildlife Action Plan
Invasive Species Campaign Coordinator
11731 State Hwy 37
Benton, IL 62812
Office: 618.435.8138 X 131
Cell: 618.364.7261

Debbie Maurer
Assistant Manager of Natural Resources & Ecologist
Lake County Forest Preserve District
1899 West Winchester Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
(w) 847-968-3285
(m) 847-276-6943

Cathy McGlynn
Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership
c/o Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
O 847-242-6423 M 845-667-4981

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