Description of Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) covers everything in a Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow. The stiltgrass acts as a green slime eliminating anything in its path. Stiltgrass meadows populate beaver impoundments, streamsides and fields in Delaware. The United States Vegetation Classification System classification does not class this community.
Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow in Aerial Imagery
Below are some of the occurrences in Delaware. Many of them are in the Blackbird Creek and adjacent areas where there is a proliferation of beaver impoundments.
The thing to note with stiltgrass meadows is the white appearance of the stiltgrass.
Below are some streamside and impoundment locations of Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow.
This location in the Blackbird Creek watershed is intermixed with reed grass (Phragmites australis). Note the dirty cotton look of the reed grass, which was discussed in the Reed Tidal Marsh post earlier in July. The stiltgrass has the white appearance.
This location is not in a wetland but rather a field in the Piedmont of Delaware. The underlying clay soil tempers the white look giving it a more pink color. This particular location is from the Brandywine Creek watershed.
Similar Communities to Japanese Stiltgrass Meadow in Imagery
- Upland Switchgrass Vegetation: Upland Switchgrass Vegetation, in which switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) dominates, also looks white in imagery. However, switchgrass locates at the edges of agricultural fields and roads.
- Eastern Reed Marsh: This community presents a grayish appearance as the picture above shows. Stiltgrass and reed grass sometimes occur together but a difference in color makes the separation.
- Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh: This is likely the hardest separation to make in imagery. Stiltgrass meadow presents a flattish white look, whereas, Reed canarygrass presents a white textured appearance. The texture likely comes from the height of the canarygrass. Look for a post in the future on the separation of these two communities.