Fall 2009

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Weed it & Reap

Have You Seen This Weed?

European Water Chestnut


Alias: Oplismenus hirtellus subspecies undulatifolius

Last Seen: While formerly calling southeast Asia its home, wavyleaf basketgrass can now also be found spreading throughout parks and forests in Virginia and Maryland. Because of the close proximity of these states to Pennsylvania, this invader could already be here, threatening our natural habitats.

Description:This low-lying grass has 1 to 4-inch-long rippled leaves and stems with small hairs along their length. The plant spreads by creeping stems as well as seeds that may stick to clothing, animals and other surfaces. Once this grass enters a habitat, it can spread quickly, blanketing the area like Astroturf.

Wave Goodbye to this Invasive Grass: japanese barberry

Because large populations are not yet established in Pennsylvania, there is hope that we can beat this plant before it gets out of control. A noxious weed team in Pennsylvania is doing surveys along the Appalachian Trail near the Maryland border to keep an eye out for signs of wavyleaf basketgrass. If you think you have seen this plant, write down where you saw it, take a photograph of it if you can, and contact your local state park, state forest or conservation district office right away. Quick action is needed to stop this grass in its tracks! For photos of wavyleaf basketgrass and ways to help identify it, go to:

Jessica holding a box turtle


-- Text & illustration by Jessica Sprajcar, Conservation Programs Manager,, DCNR Office of Conservation Science




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