Kerrie L. Kyde, MD DNR

Wavyleaf Basketgrass

Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. undulatifolius (Ard.) U. Scholz
Grass family (Poaceae)

Origin: southern Europe and southeast Asia

It was first discovered in Maryland in 1996 along the Patapsco River in Baltimore County and is spreading rapidly.

Distribution and Habitat
Wavyleaf basketgrass has been found in six counties in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery and Prince Georges) and in counties in Virginia (Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudon, Madison, and Rockingham). It is highly shade-adapted and is found in forested areas from the margins to interior.

Ecological Threat
Wavyleaf grows low to the ground and spreads across the forest floor displacing native plant species completely or nearly so. It often occurs with Japanese stiltgrass. An urgent effort is underway to eradicate this fast-spreading invasive that has the potential to become much more widespread.

Description and Biology

Prevention and Control
Do not purchase or plant this or any basketgrass in the mid-Atlantic states. Stay out of infested areas from August through November to prevent seed dispersal. If you work in an infested area, be thorough in removing all seeds from shoes, clothing and equipment prior to leaving (see Control Options).

Native Alternatives
Deer-tongue grass (Dichanthelium clandestinum), bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix) and many other native grasses are available.


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Last updated:11-Nov-2010