Miscanthus sinensis - Anderss.
Chinese Silver Grass
Other English Common Names: Chinese Silvergrass
Other Common Names: Chinese silvergrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Miscanthus sinensis Andersson (TSN 41874)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147438
Element Code: PMPOA44040
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Miscanthus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Miscanthus sinensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (13Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, ILexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MIexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, VAexotic, WVexotic
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Miscanthus sinensis is a popular ornamental grass that can become an aggressive invader in some situations. This plant has the ability to alter fire regimes, suggesting a potentially significant impact.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 10Apr2007
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eastern Asia (Randall and Marinelli 1996).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: (Randall and Marinelli 1996).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium/Low significance
Comments: May interupt fire regime, especially increasing intensity given density of dead leaves (Invasive.org 2003). Burns very hot and very quickly (D. Taylor, pers. comm. 2007)

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Dense bunch grass that can reach 7 feet in height and 10 feet in width (Gilman 1999).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Unknown

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown
Comments: Andropogon gerardii is a possible look alike, and early stages of Miscanthus sinensis growth could be easily confused with a variety of native grasses (Invasives.org 2003).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Coastal grassland, edges, open disturbed area, roadsides, waste places (IPANE 2003). Threatens fields, balds and open woodlands (SAMAB 2004).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Present throughout the eastern US, California and Colorado (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Early reports of this taxon state: "Only occassional escaped" (Gleason and Cronquist 1991) or "not considered to be very invasive" (Randall and Marinelli 1996). However, it is on 5 different state invasive species lists (Invasive.org 2003; MISC), apparently having it's greatest effects in climates where it is warm enough to set seed.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Potential to occur in over 40 ecoregions (inferred from Kartesz 1999 and TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Roadsides, forest edges, forest clearings (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Coastal grassland, edges, open disturbed area, roadsides, waste places (IPANE 2003). Threatens fields, balds and open woodlands (SAMAB 2004).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Not considered to be very invasive (Randall and Marinelli 1996). However, it is on 5 different state invasive species lists (Invasive.org 2003; MISC), apparently having it's greatest effects in climates where it is warm enough to set seed.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Hardy throughout US (Gilman 1999), but only escaped/established in a portion of US (Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Ornamental which is readily for sale on the internet in a variety of cultivars (SAMAB 2004; pers obs. 05/07/04). Seed can travel long distances on wind or through attaching to something that travels (human, animal, lawn mower) (IPANE 2003; SAMAB 2004).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Slowly expands from site of initial establishment (Randall and Marinelli 1996). But is becoming increasingly aggressive in the Appalachians, which may be related to the different horticultural varieties that are for sale (SAMAB 2004).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: According to IPANE (2003), requires disturbance to establish, usually along a road (IPANE 2003). However, in Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, this species has spread from roadsides and old fescue fields into relatively undisturbed forest with an open canopy (D. Taylor, pers. comm. 2007).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Present in Canada (Kartesz 1999), presumably in similar habitats.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Rhizomes (Randall and Marinelli 1996; Invasive.org 2003). Seed (IPANE 2003).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Herbicide individual plants, repeatedly, as necessary, as they will grow from rhizomes (Randall and Marinelli 1996). Invasive.org (2003) notes that hand pulling is ineffective; however very small plants can be effectively pulled (D. Taylor, pers. comm. 2007).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Andropogon gerardii is a possible look alike, and early stages of Miscanthus sinensis growth could be easily confused with a variety of native grasses (Invasives.org 2003).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Popular ornamental that will continue to be planted (Invasive.org 2003; SAMAB 2004).
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Dore, W.G. and J. McNeill. 1980. Grasses of Ontario. Monograph 26, Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario. 566 pp.

  • Gilman, E. 1999. Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'. Fact Sheet FPS-410, adapted from a series by the Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida for the United States Forest Service.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Invasive.org. 2003. Species Account. ONLINE. http://www.invasive.org. Accessed 2004, February.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Maryland Invasive Species Council (MISC). No date. Invasive species of concern in Maryland. Available: http://www.mdinvasivesp.org/invasive_species_md.html. (Accessed 2004).

  • Mehrhoff, L.J., J.A. Silander, Jr., S.A. Leicht and E. Mosher. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Online. Available: http://invasives.eeb.uconn.edu/ipane/.

  • Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli (eds.) 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York.

  • Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB). 2004. Invasive Species Focus Area. Available ONLINE: htpp://samab.org/Focus/Invasive/warning.html. Accessed May 2004.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 1992. Catalog of The Colorado Flora: A Biodiversity Baseline. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, CO.

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