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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

help with ornamental grass ID

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Does any one know what this grass is? These are photos from 2016. The grass is growing in Baraga in the UP. Suggestions of Japanese silver grass and phragmites have been provided, but I'm hoping for a positive ID. Thank you for any help any of you can provide...

Cheers, Sigrid





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Hi Sigrid,

It's definitely not phragmites, but it looks like a variety of Miscanthus sinensis, which is also known as Chinese or Japanese silvergrass like you guessed. Here's a pretty extensive info page about it: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/missin/all.html

It seems like some varieties are more aggressive than others, so it's hard to know what this one will do. I haven't been able to find any reports of it being invasive in Michigan although it's reported to be aggressive at least and invasive in other parts of the country and judging from the size of that patch it's pretty happy there. My recommendation would be to look for new patches in the area for proof of spreading and then let the landowner decide if they want to remove what's there or just keep an eye on it. 


Good luck!




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