Miscanthus sinensis Anderson.
Chinese Silver Grass.
Summary:A hardy, perennial, grass that grows in a dense, bushy, upright to arching tussock to 3 metres tall. The leaves have whitish midrib, and are about 2 cm wide by a metre or more long with a sharp, curved and tapered tip. The seeds are borne on a 15-60 cm long silvery to pale pink plume that is held well above the leaves.
First leaves: Leaves:
Blade - Parallel sided, 500-800 mm long x 5-10 mm wide, tapering to a long slender point. Tip pointed, Edges very finely toothed. Lower surface sparsely hairy. Hairy near the ligule.
Ligule - Short, flat topped.
Auricles - None or a slight extension of the ligule
Sheath - Close around stems, somewhat keeled upwards. Surface hairy on the lower leaves and may be hairless on the upper leaves.
Stems: Robust, forms large tussocks, 1000-3000 mm tall. Hairless apart from the nodes and just below the panicle
Flower head:Erect, hairy, panicle, racemes 100-200 mm long, fine main axis (rachis), 2 spikelets one on a fine, short 1-3.5 mm long stalk, the other on a longer 2.5-7 mm long stalk (pedicel) both of which are erect to spreading and with tiny hairs and surrounded by long, silky hairs. Spikelets fall entire at maturity and disarticulates below the glumes.
Flowers: Spikelets - Yellow to brown, 4.5-5 mm long with soft white spreading hairs a little longer to the same length as the spikelet.
Florets - 1 bisexual and 1 empty and reduced to a lemma
Glumes - Awnless. Lower one with a pointed tip, rounded back, finely 3 ribbed, edges in rolled. Upper glume 1 ribbed with a pointed tip.
Palea - small, translucent, ribless, a quarter to half the length of the lemma.
Lemma - Lower one oblong with a pointed or flattish tip, occasionally with very fine teeth and very fine hairs. Upper lemma translucent, often 2 lobed with 2 capillary lobes and a slender, 7-10 mm long awn.
Key Characters:Inflorescence a panicle without spathes
Spikelets paired, distinctly awned, both pedicellate on different length pedicels.
Spikelets 2 flowered, the upper one bisexual, the lower empty and reduced to a lemma.
Glumes firm in texture as long as the spikelets and enclosing the florets.
Spikelets fall entire at maturity and disarticulates below the glumes.
By seed and enlargement of the tussock
Flowering times:Mainly autumn
December to February in Perth.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by seed.
Origin and History:Tropical Asia, South East Asia
Distribution:ACT, NSW, VIC, WA.
Beside Albany Highway at Bedfordale.
Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.
Detrimental:Weed of roadsides, forest edges, clearings and other disturbed areas.
Environmental weed of the USA.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:Usually disappears under grazing or mowing.
Spray with 1 litre of glyphosate in 100 litres of water in spring when the shoots are 15-50 cm long. Repeat as necessary during the year.
Herbicide resistance:None reported.
Biological Control:Related plants:
No other weedy species in this genera in Australia.
Plants of similar appearance:Pampas Grass (Cortaderia species)
References:Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Ciba Geigy (1980) Grass Weeds 1. CIBA GEIGY Ltd, Basle, Switzerland. P69. Diagrams. Miscanthus floridulus.
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P60.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #658.1
Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P970.
Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P89. Photo.
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