Japanese Stiltgrass

Description

Japanese stiltgrass is a summer annual grass that generally grows 1-3 feet in a branching, sprawling, mat-like manner. Its pale green leaves alternate along a branched stalk, and it resembles a small bamboo plant. Leaves are narrow and lightly hairy. One feature to notice is the pale stripe of hair along the midrib of the upper leaf surface. Japanese stiltgrass spreads rapidly, and out-competes native vegetation in areas of low light.

Cultural Control

Maintain a dense, actively growing turf through proper mowing, fertilizing, and watering practices. Mow at the proper height for your selected adapted turfgrass. Coring and traffic control reduce compaction and encourage desirable turfgrass competition. It is best to control this summer annual broadleaf weed in late spring or early summer because it is easier to control at this time and the turf will have a greater chance of recovering the areas previously occupied by weeds.

Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Postemergence Control
topramezone, MOA 27 (2.8 L) (Pylex) 0.023 to 0.034 fl oz 1 to 1.5 fl oz 0.021875 to 0.0328125
Precaution and Remarks: Labeled for broadcast treatment use in residential and athletic field turf, as well as in nonresidential turf sites including sod farms, golf courses (excluding greens and collars), parks, roadsides, cemeteries, and commercial properties. Tolerant turf species include Kentucky bluegrass, tall and fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and centipedegrass at seeding and then anytime beyond 28 days after seeding. Add crop oil concentrate or methylated seed oil for enhanced control at 0.5 to 1% by volume. Don’t apply greater than 2 fluid ounces per acre per application or 4 fluid ounces per acre per year. Bleaching intensity of susceptible weeds reduced and broadleaf weed spectrum increased if tankmixed with quinclorac, [quinclorac + mecoprop + dicamba] or triclopyr. For suppression of above-listed weeds, add triclopyr at 1 pound ai per acre and make either 2 or 3 applications at 3 to 4 week intervals depending on topramezone rate. Creeping bentgrass is marginally tolerant to topramezone at 0.25 fluid ounces per acre. Test on a small area before large-scale use. Sequential applications may be required to achieve desired level of weed control. For bermudagrass and sheashore paspalum use 0.5 to 0.75 ounces per acre plus MSO at 1.5 pints per acre. Apply only to established bermudagrass and seashore paspalum.

Species Data

  • SEEDHEAD / FLOWER
    • one or more spike-like raceme
  • VERNATION TYPE
    • rolled
  • LIGULE TYPE
    • membranous with hairs on the back
  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • summer annual weed
  • AURICLE TYPE
    • absent
  • LEAF BLADE TIP SHAPE
    • sharp-pointed; leaves are asymmetrical (midvein does not divide the leaf into two equal parts)
      Figure 1
  • LEAF BLADE WIDTH
    • 0.12 - 0.4 inches (3 - 10 mm) wide
  • STOLON PRESENCE
    • absent
  • RHIZOME PRESENCE
    • absent
  • SHEATH TYPE
    • round
Japanese stiltgrassFigure 1. Japanese stiltgrass.

Written By

Photo of Charles Peacock, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop & Soil Sciences - NC State University
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This Extension factsheet can also be viewed at:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/japanese-stiltgrass