Credit: Alicia Lafever
Japanese Stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum. Native of India to East Asia this grass was first recorded in Tennessee in 1909. At that time the grass was commonly used as a packing material for Asian porcelain, and it is thought that escaped seeds started the invasion. Up to 1,000 seeds are produced by each plant, allowing this shade tolerant species to carpet forest floors. Growing up to 3 feet in height, this sprawling annual has long, thin leaves that alternate up its stalk. Road and trail corridors are common places to find this grass in the park.