Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Maxim.) Franch.

Amur silvergrass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Amur silvergrass is an exotic grass from cool-temperate regions of Asia, which has been collected in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. Its species name suggests the resemblance of its flowers to those of sugar cane. Its long, vigorous, recurving leaves turn orange in the fall. It can be distinguished from its congener, Chinese silvergrass (M. sinensis), by the very long hairs at the base of the lemma (giving its inflorescences a very feathery look), and the fact that it proliferates on long rhizomes, forming extensive colonies.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
5–30 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4–6 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
At least 0 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0.5–1 mm
Anther length
2–2.5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    2–2.5 mm
    Anther number
    0–3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume shape
    the glume is flat or curved in cross-section
    Glume veins
    • 3
    • 5
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    150–400 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence has pairs (or trios) of spikelets that are similar to each other in structure and size, with at least one of the spikelets on a stalk
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn base
    NA
    Lemma awn length
    At least 0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma base hair length
    8–24 mm
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma has hairs at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma vein number
    • 0
    • 1
    • 3
    One or more florets
    there is one floret per spikelet
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet disintegration
    the spikelet breaks off below the glumes
    Spikelet length
    4–6 mm
    Spikelet pedicel
    the spikelets have pedicels
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Growth form
    Roots
    the plant has rhizomes (horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    5–30 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.5–1 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present, invasive, prohibited
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Miscanthus sinensis:
awn of lemma elongate, 6–12 mm long, geniculate at base, conspicuously surpassing glumes, callus of lemma pubescent with hairs 3.5–12 mm long, up to twice as long as the associated spikelet, and plants cespitose, with short rhizomes, forming large clumps (vs. M. sacchariflorus, with the awn of lemma absent or short, not exceeding the glumes of intact spikelets, callus of lemma pubescent with hairs ca. 8–24 mm long, 2–4 times as long as the associated spikelet, and plants long-rhizomatous, forming extensive colonies).

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Miscanthus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Maxim.) Franch. E

Amur silvergrass. CT, MA, ME. Fields, roadsides, disturbed soil.